HC Deb 27 October 1943 vol 393 cc161-3
5. Sir Harold Webbe

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what control His Majesty's Government exercise over the expenditure of the League of Nations?

Mr. Law

In normal times control over the expenditure of the League of Nations is exercised through the Assembly, advised by the Supervisory Commission, the accounts being audited by an independent auditor. During the war period when the Assembly has not been meeting, it has delegated its functions to the Supervisory Commission, which has exercised a vigilant control over the expenditure of all organs of the League. The Supervisory Commission now includes three persons drawn from the British Commonwealth. Until his recent death it also included Sir F. Phillips, a member of His Majesty's Treasury.

Sir H. Webbe

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that, through this representation of the Supervisory Commission, the expenditure of the money largely provided by His Majesty's Government is in fact on a proper basis and that there is no undue waste?

Mr. Law

Yes, Sir, I am fully satisfied of that.

Mr. McGovern

Would it not be better to wind up this bogus and bankrupt concern?

7. Squadron-Leader Donner

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether those States which have defaulted on their contributions to the League of Nations are still considered to be members; and how long a State is entitled to be considered a member after default?

Mr. Law

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. No time limit for the payment of arrears has been established.

8. Major Petherick

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what proportion the annual contribution of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom to the upkeep of the League of Nations bears to the total contributions now being paid; and what proportion is paid by the British Empire as a whole?

Mr. Law

On the basis of contributions paid in the year 1942, the proportion paid by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom is 29.57 per cent. of the League's income and by the British Commonwealth and Empire 61.59 per cent.

Major Petherick

Is it not obvious that the League of Nations is now run predominantly by the British Empire, and has it not therefore ceased to be a League of Nations as it was originally contemplated, and is it not time that the whole thing was wound up?

Mr. Lawson

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us the cause of all these questions? Do I take it that hon. Gentlemen opposite are against all co-operation with other nations?

Mr. Mander

Is it not sufficient for hon. Members to have murdered the League without continually stirring up trouble?

Rear-Admiral Beamish

Will my right hon. Friend do everything he possibly can to prevent semi-official bodies who have taken the name of the League of Nations from doing irreparable injury to this country as they did before the war?

Mr. Law

That is another question, and, with regard to the main question, it has been made clear that His Majesty's Government attach very great importance to those sections of the League which are now in existence and in active operation.

Mr. R. J. Taylor

May I ask whether these questions denote a difference of opinion between the Chairman of the Tory Party and the members of the Tory Party?

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