Oral Answers to Questions — Abyssinia.

– in the House of Commons on 18th May 1938.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Kingswinford

asked the Prime Minister whether he will give an assurance that His Majesty's Government will not recognise the Italian Government's claim to Ethiopia until they have satisfied themselves by independent inquiry that the Italian authorities are in complete de facto military and civil control of the whole of the country?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

His Majesty's Government are satisfied as to the accuracy of the information contained in the reply given to the hon. Member on nth April, and they are not prepared to support any proposal for an independent inquiry of the nature suggested.

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Kingswinford

Surely His Majesty's Government are going to follow the usual international practice, and refuse to recognise any conquest unless the Italian Government are in complete occupation of the whole country?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I have told the hon. Member that His Majesty's Government are not prepared to adopt his suggestion. In previous answers I have told him our information with regard to the present position in Abyssinia.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Manchester, Gorton

Has the information given by the Emperor of Ethiopia at Geneva been brought to the notice of the Cabinet?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I think the Cabinet are fully aware of these matters.

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

Has the hon. Gentleman taken notice of the information given by the Frenchman, M. Pecheral, who was personally in Abyssinia with the Abyssinian forces in the field a few weeks ago?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I have not personally seen it.

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

If I send it to the Minister, will he take it into consideration?

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Kingswinford

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest opportunity.

Mr. J. J. Davidson:

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government, as a result of recent discussions and decisions at the League of Nations, have reconsidered their attitude to the question of the alleged conquest of Abyssinia; and has he any statement to make?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

The answer to both parts of the question is in the negative.

Mr. Davidson:

Is the Minister aware that the Abyssinian representative at the League of Nations gave definite evidence, which could not be refuted by the British representative, in connection with the alleged conquest of Abyssinia?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

We have already had one question on this subject, and I informed the House that the information in our possession had been given to the hon. Member for Kingswinford (Mr. A. Henderson) earlier.

Mr. Davidson:

In view of the fact that since then evidence has been submitted which has not been refuted by the British representative at the League, has the Government reconsidered the position?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

The position is as stated in the answer I have given.