Oral Answers to Questions — Empire Economic Co-Operation.

– in the House of Commons on 12th April 1934.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Andrew Gault Lieut-Colonel Andrew Gault , Taunton

47.

asked the Prime Minister whether, in order to strengthen the Empire and implement the Ottawa Agreements, he will consider the advisability of establishing a permanent Imperial secretariat for the purpose of studying all matters pertaining to the welfare of the Empire as a whole and reporting to the Governments concerned; and whether he will take an early opportunity of discussing this question with His Majesty's Governments overseas?

Photo of Mr Ramsay Macdonald Mr Ramsay Macdonald , Seaham

The whole subject of the means of facilitating economic consultation and co-operation between the several Governments of the Commonwealth was considered last year by a committee upon which they were all represented, but that committee's recommendations did not include the establishment of any standing body such as I gather that my hon. and gallant Friend has in contemplation. His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom cannot by itself establish such machinery, and in these circumstances I doubt whether it would serve any useful purpose to raise the question at this stage.