had in mind, that if these conversations are to lead, as we
desire them to lead, not merely to an improvement of the
relations between ourselves and Italy but to general appease-
ment all round the Mediterranean, in which the French are
particularly interested, we could not possibly achieve that end
unless the French were entirely with us from the beginning
to the end."
MR. ATTLEE : " If that is so, why when I put this specific
point to the right hon. Gentleman yesterday did he give me
no reply? When I made the statement about consultations
with the French, why did the right hon. Gentleman not take
the opportunity of telling us what he has told us now ? He
made no statement." ,
THE PRIME MINISTER : " The right hon. Gentleman must
be alluding to the speech that I made in the evening, because
he spoke after me in the afternoon."
MR. ATTLEE : " I put a specific point to the right hon.
Gentleman. I said that there had been no mention of France."
THE PRIME MINISTER : " I think the right hon. Gentleman
MR. ATTLEE : " I asked whether there had been consultations
and I got no reply."
THE PRIME MINISTER : " I am sorry if the right hon.
Gentleman thought that I was discourteous to him in not
replying to his question. I can assure him that I did not
intend deliberately to avoid his question. If I did not mention
it last night—and I think he will find if he reads the OFFICIAL
REPORT that was the only opportunity I had—he will remem-
ber that I got up very late, and that I had not intended to say
more than a few words. I hope what I have said to-day will
make amends to him for my not having mentioned it last
MR. ATTLEE : " While thanking the right hon. Gentleman
for meeting that specific point, he will realise why my right
hon. Friend referred to die matter. As the Prjme Minister
had not answered on a very vital question as to whether we
were acting with France, we naturally assumed that he had
not an answer."
THE PRIME MINISTER : " I hope that the right hon. Gentle-
man and his Friends will not assume again that because I do