HC Deb 26 June 1906 vol 159 cc768-9
SIR W. EVANS GORDON (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the fact that owing to the murder of the King of Servia diplomatic relations were broken off with that country, he proposes to adopt a. similar course in consequence of the recent massacre of Jews in Russia.


The Answer is in the negative.


May I ask what distinction is drawn between the assassination of two crowned heads in Servia and the wholesale slaughter of these poor people in Russia?


I will reply to that Question in my Answer to the hon. Member for the Elland Division.

MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W.R., Elland)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on what date, approximately, during the summer months it is intended, under the present arrangements, that the British fleet should pay its ceremonial visit to a Russian port in the Baltic.


According to present arrangements, the fleet will in the course of its cruise in the Baltic call at Swedish, Russian, and German ports. It will call at four Russian ports. The exact dates have not yet been fixed, but they will be at the end of July and the beginning of August.


I bog to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to appeals made in Russia to Great Britain not to send the British fleet on a ceremonial visit, on the ground that it would be interpreted in Russia as a demonstration hostile to the constitutional movement; whether he will make inquiries as to the prevalence or otherwise of this feeling among the constitutional party in Russia; and whether, meanwhile, His Majesty's Government will delay making final and unalterable arrangements for a visit of the fleet such as has been proposed.


I can add nothing to the Answers which I have already given. It seems to me quite out of the question that a visit of the fleet which was arranged some time ago should be regarded as having any reference whatever to internal affairs in Russia, or as having any influence upon them. Such visits during the summer cruise of the fleet have always been regarded hitherto as a simple act of courtesy to the country and people to whose neighbourhood the fleet has gone. But if it is desired that any fuller statement should be made, I would suggest that it should be postponed till the Foreign Office Vote, which is to be taken on July 5th.