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Friday, 24 April 1936

Senator BROWN (QUEENSLAND) asked the Leader of the Government in the Senate, upon, notice -

1.   Has the Government's attention been drawn to a statement by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Neville Chamberlain, that Britain was ready to consult the League of Nations for the transfer of territories, held under mandate, to their former owners?

2.   Has the Government any information on this matter?

3.   If so, will such information be given to the Senate?

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - The answers to the honorable senator's questions are as follows: -

1.   The Commonwealth Government has seen a personal statement attributed to Mr. Neville Chamberlain reportedin the press on the 8th April, to the effect that a " transfer of mandated territory could only be accomplished with the assent of the mandatory power concerned and of the League Council ".

2.   The views of the British Government and of the Commonwealth Government were set out in the statement whichI made on this question in the Senate on the 13th March. In this respect, 1 would refer to a further statement by the Right Honorable . J. H. Thomas, Secretary of State for the Colenies, in the House of Commons on the 22nd April, to the following effect: - "If the question of transferring any mandates ever arises, it will not be a question for us alone. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have mandates, and, so far as the British Government is concerned, it will not consider the handing over of any mandates unless the whole question of Empire mandates is also reviewed. There is also the question of mandates affecting France and Belgium. We are not considering the question at present. It has not arisen, and will not be raised by us."

3.   See answers to 1 and 2.

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