Cabinet Secretariat.

Oral Answers to Questions — League of Nations. – in the House of Commons on 1st March 1922.

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Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY:

54.

asked the Prime Minister if he will specify the duties in connection with the League of Nations which are entrusted to the Cabinet Secretariat?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

The Cabinet Secretariat is the channel of communication between His Majesty's Government and the League of Nations. It receives and is responsible for distributing to the Members of the Government and Departments concerned all communications emanating from the League; prepares coordinated answers thereto when necessary after consulting the respective Departments; and, generally, sees that the British representatives on the Council and at the Assembly are kept informed of all phases of the League's activities. In addition, the official in charge of this Section accompanies the British representatives to meetings of the Council and Assembly, and acts as secretary of a Cabinet Committee, which deals with questions relating to the League of Nations.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY:

Is not the larger portion of the work of the League of Nations in this country carried out by the Foreign Office, and is not, therefore, the Cabinet Secretariat the fifth wheel in the coach?

Sir J. D. REES:

Is the cost of this Secretariat debited to the League of Nations, the Foreign Office, or under what head is it?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

It is debited—I speak without opportunity for reference, but certainly I think—debited to the Vote for the Cabinet Secretariat. In answer to my hon. and gallant Friend opposite I have correctly described the position, and have given him the correct information on the points put on the Paper. As to the exact amount of work which this involves on each of the Cabinet Departments, I certainly could not speak, nor do I think the inquiry very valuable. The work of the League very often affects the work of several Departments. The Cabinet Secretariat is the channel of communication, and is responsible for seeing that each Department gets, and contributes, the necessary information.