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Disarmament, Germany

Volume 154: debated on Monday 22 May 1922

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asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the German department charged with the destruction of war material recently invited the Stuttgart section of the Allied Commission to witness the destruction of some 2,000 firearms; whether the officer representing the Allied Commission ascertained later that the material destroyed consisted of old British and Russian rifles covered with a layer of German arms; whether he further discovered 2,000 German rifles concealed in a railway truck on a siding, and whether, since it is reasonable to assume that for every case of this kind that is found out many instances of similar deception go undetected, he will arrange for a memorandum to be issued dealing with the work accomplished by the Allied Commission up to the present, and indicating the extent to which the obligations of Gee-many, under the Versailles Treaty, with respect to the destruction of military material remain unfulfilled?

I have been asked to answer this question. The answer to the first three parts of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the last part, I am unable to accept the assumption that many cases of this kind go undetected, but I will consider whether any good purpose would be served by the issue of the memorandum suggested.

Considering that the answer to the first three parts of the question is in the affirmative, does it, not lend colour to the idea that in all probability there are enormous numbers of these consignments of arms dealt with in the same way, and does not the right hon. Gentleman think it desirable to inquire of the Allied Commission whether they are satisfied that quantities of the war material are really destroyed?

We are in constant communication with the Allied Commission, which reports, I think, fortnightly.

What is the position in regard to the arch-criminal? Is it true that the arch-criminal is about to be married?