20 DECEMBER 1935, Page 3

The Week in Parliament Our Parliamentary_ Correspondent writes : Inevitably

this week all political interest has been concentrated, not in the Chamber, but in the lobbies and smoking rooms. Not since the General Strike has there been a political crisis that has so completely absorbed the attention of Members, as that created by the Hoare- Laval peace plan. Now that the story of that fateful Cabinet meeting on the Monday afternoon following the Paris agreement, is leaking out, the manner in which the negotiations were conducted becomes increasingly incomprehensible. Apparently the essential documents on which the decision could alone be based were circulated to the Members of the Cabinet less than an hour before the meeting took place. They were not accompanied by a map, so that when the Ministers met they had no real idea of the extent of the territory that it was proposed to hand over to Italy. Many of them were gravely perturbed by the proposals, but they did not realise their full meaning until later, when it was too late to withdraw their assent to them. Had they been in possession of the full facts it is clear that there would have been an immediate and serious split in the Cabinet which might have led to the instant repudiation of Sir Samuel Hoare. He had no authority to signify his agreement to any peace proposals, and the Cabinet would have been entirely in their rights in insisting that l►e had exceeded his instructions and must go. * * * *