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Volume 244: debated on Wednesday 12 November 1930

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if any further action has been taken in pursuance of the policy expressed in his statement made at the Assembly of the League of Nations last September that, in the opinion of the British Government., Article 8 of the Covenant with regard to disarmament was as binding and as important as any other article contained therein or in the Treaties of Peace?

As the hon. Member is aware, the Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference is now in session at Geneva, and I trust that its deliberations will be successful in preparing the way for the execution by all States Members of the League of Article 8 of the Covenant.

Will the Foreign Secretary make it clear that until other States have carried out their obligations under Article 8 they cannot rely upon us to carry out our duties under Article 16, which deals with sanctions?

That is a very large question to have to settle by way of an answer to a question.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the instructions given to the British delegation to the Preparatory Commission on Disarmament include the acceptance of the principle of no limitation of trained reserves; and whether this principle has been accepted by His Majesty's Government?

When the present Session of the Preparatory Commission is ended, I will issue a White Paper setting out its conclusions and indicating the attitude adopted by the representative of His Majesty's Government on the various questions discussed. Meanwhile I do not, consider that such points as that raised by my hon. and gallant Friend can be usefully dealt with at this stage.

I sin much obliged to my right hon. Friend for his answer. Could the right hon. Gentleman find it convenient to say whether there has been any alteration of policy with regard to the question of the limitation of trained reserves?

During the sittings which are now being held I deprecate having to answer specific questions. I appeal to my hon. and gallant Friend to accept the offer which I have made.