HC Deb 24 January 1940 vol 356 c580
47. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Prime Minister whether the announcement by General Lord Gort to the effect that if Belgium were attacked the Franco-British guarantee would come into play with lightning speed represents the considered view of His Majesty's Government; what is the nature of the guarantee referred to; and whether the military plans for implementing it, if need be, are already prepared?

The Prime Minister

Under the Locarno Treaty of Mutual Guarantee of 16th October, 1925, is Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom undertook to come to the immediate assistance of Belgium in the event of an unprovoked act of aggression by Germany. This undertaking was reaffirmed in the arrangement drawn up in London on 19th March, 1936, in the Anglo-French Declaration to Belgium of 24th April, 1937, and in a statement made to His Majesty the King of the Belgians by His Majesty's Ambassador at Brussels on 27th August last. In reply to the last part of the Question, my hon. Friend may rest assured that the question of how guarantees of all kinds can be implemented if the need should arise, has received the full attention of His Majesty's Government.

Mr. Stewart

Will my right hon. Friend say what is the test of aggression? In this case, would it, for example, include a threatened attack, and who is to be the judge of aggression?

The Prime Minister

The Government must retain their right to decide.