South Africa (MR. Pirow's European Conversations).

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry. – in the House of Commons on 6th December 1938.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Fletcher Mr Reginald Fletcher , Nuneaton

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he has yet received any communication from the Government of South Africa as to the matters discussed between Mr. Pirow and the Italian Government?

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Kingswinford

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he can now make a statement on the recent visits of Mr. Pirow, the South African Minister of Defence, to Berlin and Rome?

Mr. M. MacDonald:

I have received no communication from the Government of the Union of South Africa on these matters. But Mr. Pirow has now returned to London, and will be having talks with Ministers here before he leaves at the end of the week. He will, no doubt, inform us of the subjects of his discussions in Berlin and Rome.

Photo of Mr Reginald Fletcher Mr Reginald Fletcher , Nuneaton

If I put down a question this week, does the right hon. Gentleman anticipate being able to give the substance of the conversations with Mr. Pirow then?

Mr. MacDonald:

I cannot make any promise of that kind. It is a matter primarily for Mr. Pirow as to what may be said and when it can be said regarding his conversations in Europe.

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Kingswinford

In view of the public concern which has followed the publication of Mr. Pirow's statement yesterday that Europe was drifting towards war, and that in the spring there might be a very serious international crisis, will His Majesty's Government consult with Mr. Pirow as to the substance of that statement with a view to a public statement being made at an early date?

Mr. MacDonald:

I will bear the hon. Member's suggestion in mind, but it is a matter primarily for Mr. Pirow, and we must wait to learn from him his impressions of his Continental tour.

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Kingswinford

Will His Majesty's Government discuss with Mr. Pirow the specific statement to which I have referred?

Photo of Sir Henry Morris-Jones Sir Henry Morris-Jones , Denbigh

Is not that statement purely a matter of opinion?

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to what extent purchases of Junkers military aeroplanes have been made on behalf of the South African Union by Mr. Pirow when recently in Germany?

Mr. MacDonald:

I understand that no such purchases have been made.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Can the Secretary of State say whether any inquiry with regard to the possible purchase of aeroplanes was made by Mr. Pirow when he was recently in Berlin, because if that is so, cannot we have some, too?

Mr. MacDonald:

As far as I am aware, the answer I have given represents the state of affairs.

Photo of Mr Malcolm Macmillan Mr Malcolm Macmillan , Na h-Eileanan an Iar

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there was a statement in the "Sunday Observer" that he had purchased £500,000 worth of war materials?

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

May I ask whether it is not the case that the Union of South Africa has lost Home Rule?