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BRITISH EMPIRE: Parliament’s Week: May 21, 1928

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The Commons:

¶ Received with approving cries of “Hear! Hear!” from members of all parties a statement by Foreign Secretary Sir Austen Chamberlain concerning the proposal of U. S. Secretary of State Frank Billings Kellogg that a treaty “renouncing war as an instrument of national policy” be signed among the U. S., Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan (TIME, April 30). Sir Austen said that the Dominions must be consulted before His Majesty’s Government can formulate a reply, but that “it will be to the effect of our desire to cooperate in the conclusion of such a compact.”

With characteristic British self-righteousness the Foreign Secretary added, “This country has never treated war as an instrument of national policy. . . . No British Government would take an action of that kind.”

When hecklers cried, “What about the South African War?” bland Sir Austen replied with lofty irrelevance, “I am not going back to ancient history or the crusades.”

Meanwhile Right Honorable Members learned from London news organs that Signor Mussolini had just informed Mr. Kellogg that “The Royal Government of Italy . . . offers very willingly . . . cordial collaboration toward reaching an agreement.”

¶ Silently acquiesced, when Home Secretary Sir William (“Jix”) Joynson-Hicks stated that he had requested the abdicated onetime Crown Prince Carol of Rumania to leave England within five days, on account of the attempt which Carol allegedly made last fortnight (TIME, May 14) to charter two British air liners for a dash to Rumania, with intent to seize the Throne from his six-year-old son, King Mihai.

The Home Secretary was able to indicate that the situation in Rumania was completely quiet, last week, and that the 200,000 Rumanian peasants who marched to Alba Julia, last fortnight, and adopted resolutions protesting the despotism of the Rumanian Government were believed to be dispersing to their homes, after abandoning their project of a great protest march to Bucharest, Rumanian capital. ¶ Were astounded and chagrined by the charge made of His Majesty’s Government that the oars now being used on lifeboats of the Royal Navy were purchased in the U. S. because prices there were lowest. ¶ Passed through second reading a bill which would make greyhound racing illegal unless licensed by local authorities. Speaking in behalf of the bill, Sir William (“Jix”) Joynson-Hicks revealed that there have been forwarded to him as Home Secretary some 1,600 resolutions adopted by groups opposed to dog racing.

The Lords:

¶ Began debate on the Votes For Flappers Bill (TIME, April 30) which had been passed earlier in the week by the House of Commons.

¶ Took approving cognizance of a treaty signed, last week, at Teheran, the Capital of Persia, between representatives of British King-Emperor George V and Persian King-of-Kings Reza Shah Pahlevi. The treaty recognizes Persia’s complete autonomy in levying tariffs upon British or other goods, and lays the groundwork for negotiations looking to the penetration of Persia by British built railways, airways.

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