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European Situation

Volume 345: debated on Thursday 30 March 1939

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51.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make an up-to-date statement of the progress of negotiations with other Governments with respect to the position in international affairs before the House rises for the Easter Recess; and whether he will give an opportunity for the House to debate the position before any decision is come to, undertaking, if necessary, to interrupt the Easter Recess for this purpose?

Perhaps the hon. Member would be good enough to await the statement which I propose to make on Business.

52.

asked the Prime Minister whether, as part of the review of the whole position which is being undertaken, the Committee of Imperial Defence is making a special and ad hoc review of the Defence arrangements put forward by the Government in the recent Defence Service Estimates in order to decide if these arrangements are commensurate with commitments now contemplated and with the changes in the military strengths of other European Powers which have occurred since the Estimates were framed?

The hon. and gallant Member can rest assured that every aspect of the present situation has been, and is being, kept under review by the Committee of Imperial Defence.

May I ask whether the review of which the right hon. Gentleman speaks is the day-to-day review which it is the duty of the Defence Departments and the Committee of Imperial Defence to make, or whether it is a special review which has been instituted since the Prime Minister's statement on 17th March?

Will similar announcements be made in respect of the Navy and the Air Force to that which the right hon. Gentleman was able to announce yesterday in regard to the Territorial Force?

I anticipate that statements will be made in the House from time to time as conclusions are reached.

53.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider the advisability of taking immediate action in conjunction with the Dominions and friendly States, to withhold from Germany the materials possessed by them, essential to German rearmament and to introduce the necessary legislation here?

Could not tremendous pressure be brought to bear on Germany by purely economic action on these lines; and will the Prime Minister consider whether the matter ought not to be discussed with these other countries?

Is it not the case that action on these lines would involve war at once, without any doubt at all?