§ MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it was in consequence of any representations made by him, or at his instance, that the contemplated visit to Russia of a deputation, composed of Members of this House and others, to present an address to the late Russian Duma was abandoned; whether he has received any representations, verbal or otherwise, on behalf of the Russian Government on the subject; and, if so, what was the purport of those representations.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir EDWARD GREY, Northumberland, Berwick)
The proposed deputation was quite independent of His Majesty's Government, and I can say nothing about it. The Russian Government wore aware of this, and made no official representations respecting it.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman had made any representation to the Gentlemen who were to compose the deputation.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
I regarded the deputation as quite independent of His Majesty's Government, and therefore I took no official action whatever in respect to it. If the hon. Gentleman desires to know more about the deputation I think it ought to be ascertained from the Members themselves.
§ *MR. BYLES (Salford, N.)
asked whether the British Ambassador had informed him that the address, signed by 300 Members of the House of Commons, had been welcomed with gratitude in all parts of Russia; and whether there was not evidence that the mere intention of presenting the address 411 had strengthened the good feeling of the people of Russia towards this country.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
I have not been associated with the deputation in any way, or with the address; and I have no official information in regard to it. I think it is desirable, when the Government have not been connected with a particular matter, that they should not be expected, save in exceptional circumstances, to express any opinion about it.