Italy and Afghanistan.

Oral Answers to Questions — Russia. – in the House of Commons on 11th May 1922.

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Lieut.-Colonel WARD:

17.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Giolitti Government, through its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Sforza, caused a secret treaty to be concluded between Italy and Afganistan last year; whether he can state the date of the conclusion of that treaty and its contents; whether and, if so, when it was disclosed to the British Government, and what action was taken in consequence of this disclosure; and what was the character of Anglo-Afghan relations at the time Count Sforza acted in this way?

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

Two agreements between the Italian Government and Afghanistan were signed on 3rd June last, providing for the exchange of diplomatic representation and for the negotiation of a commercial treaty. The Italian Government communicated the text of these agreements to His Majesty's Government on 14th July. There is nothing in the terms of either agreement which would appear to call for any action on the part of His Majesty's Government. At the time of the signature of these agreements negotiations were still in progress at Kabul for the Anglo-Afghan treaty.

Lieut.-Colonel WARD:

From that answer, does it not appear as though the agreements were adopted and actually arranged and signed, about a month before His Majesty's Government was informed?

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

I should deprecate most strongly answering questions concerning two foreign nations with both of which His Majesty's Government are on friendly terms.