HL Deb 25 May 1927 vol 67 cc522-3

LORD NEWTON had given Notice to ask if it is the case that the Rumanian Government has officially declared that it refuses to submit to the decisions of the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal set up under the Trianon Treaty.


My Lords, perhaps my noble friend will allow me to say one word to suggest to him that, though this Question is evidently one of great importance, the present time is not a very suitable one for raising it in this House. The matter is, as he knows, a very complicated one, but in its present stage it has been referred to the Council of the League of Nations. The Council, acting on its ordinary procedure, appointed one of its members to report to it on the whole question, and that member was my right hon. friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, as representing the British Empire. It would therefore be quite impossible for any member of the Government to say anything on the subject of this Question, because it is sub judice, and it would evidently be most improper for any member of His Majesty's Government to comment upon it in any way. Indeed, if I may be so bold as to say so, I think it would be a little unfortunate even for a member of the House of Lords to say anything about it at this moment, because, after all, the person to whom it is referred is the representative of the British Empire, and a member of the House of Lords cannot get out of the fact that he, too, speaks in a degree for the British Empire as a member of the Imperial Parliament. Accordingly I hope my noble friend will see his way to put off this Question until a time when it is no longer sub judice, and I venture very respectfully to say to him that I think it would be in the public interest to do so.


My Lords, I ought to be inured by this time to finding my Questions described as inopportune, but I confess that I find some difficulty in understanding why a Question that merely requires a categorical "Yes" or "No" in reply should be likely to cause the difficulties that my noble friend anticipates. But, of course, I cannot resist an appeal coming from such a quarter, and I am prepared to postpone my Question. I will, however, leave it upon the Paper and raise it at what I hope will be considered a more opportune moment.


I am very much obliged to the noble Lord.