Territories (Preservation).

Oral Answers to Questions — League of Nations. – in the House of Commons on 20th February 1922.

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Sir J. D. REES:

51.

asked the Lord President of the Council whether Article X of the Covenant of the League of Nations is still in force; and whether the obligation which lies upon signatories to preserve the territories of one another against external aggression operates in view of threatened, probable, or possible aggression, or only when war-like operations have actually been commenced?

Photo of Mr Herbert Fisher Mr Herbert Fisher , Combined English Universities

I have been asked to answer this question. The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The question of the interpretation of the Article was considered by the First Committee of the Second Assembly in connection with the Canadian proposal for its suppression. I would refer the hon. Baronet to the Committee's report and the relative resolution of the Assembly contained in the special supplement of the League's official journal for October, 1921, copies of which will be found in the Library of the House.

Sir J. D. REES:

In view of the comprehensive and compromising character of Article X., is it not desirable that the position of the British Government in respect of it should be stated, and in answer to this question?

Photo of Mr Herbert Fisher Mr Herbert Fisher , Combined English Universities

I am advised that that is not expedient.

Sir J. D. REES:

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman why he defends anything that is not expedient?

Photo of Mr Herbert Fisher Mr Herbert Fisher , Combined English Universities

I was not defending that which was inexpedient.