HC Deb 21 February 1940 vol 357 cc1339-40
45. Mr. Woodburn asked

the Prime Minister whether the Government will now make categorical declarations that Britain has no ulterior and undeclared purpose in the present war; seeks no territorial or material gain and has no intention in any way to impose any dismemberment on Germany; and that the sole objective to be achieved is to secure by reasonable guarantees, of which the withdrawal of Germany from armed occupation of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland, would be an earnest, that Germany had renounced all intentions of armed expansion and was prepared to take her place in the councils of the nations as a free partner ready to co-operate in the steps necessary to secure a peaceful solution of economic, territorial and racial problems making for enmity and war, and for the safeguarding of all peoples against aggression?

The Prime Minister

I see no object in adding to the categorical declarations already made by members of the Government as to the purposes of this country in the war.

Mr. Woodburn

While appreciating the difficulties of the Government in this respect, in order to counteract the propaganda of Dr. Goebbels and reassure people at home, will not the Prime Minister consider making some categorical declarations especially on the question of the dismemberment of Germany?

The Prime Minister

I cannot add to what I have already said.

49. Mr. Sorensen asked

the Prime Minister what reply he has returned to the resolution sent to him supporting the general principle of a peace settlement and international reconstruction as advocated by the Labour party?

The Prime Minister

I regret that I am unable to identify from the description given the resolutions to which the hon. Member refers.

Mr. Sorensen

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this principle is included in the peace terms of the Labour party; and will he not at least indicate wherein the Government diverge from this principle?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I do not think that I am called upon to do that.

Mr. Silverman

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is not a little dishonest to allow these details to be broadcast to the German people unless they are also the policy of His Majesty's Government?

The Prime Minister

I do not know whom the hon. Member is accusing, but it is certainly not me.

Sir Archibald Sinclair

Is it not clear that the British Broadcasting Corporation is not under the control of the Government and has a perfect right to broadcast what is said by His Majesty's Opposition?

Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte

Is not the suggestion of His Majesty's Opposition quite absurd?