§ MR. J. RAMSAY MACDONALD (Leicester)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Sir William Nicholson has come to London for the purpose of consulting about the final draft of a Russian treaty; whether this treaty is to be of a general character or is only to relate to outstanding boundary difficulties, or whether, as in the case of the Anglo-French treaty, arrangements regarding local interests are to cover a general entente and rapprochement; and whether, in coming to any arrangement with Russia, the Secretary of State proposes to take into account the feeling of this country regarding the present relations between the Russian governing authorities and the Russian people.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (MR. RUNCIMAN, Dews-bury; for Sir EDWARD GREY)
It would be quite unusual and most undesirable to make statements as to the special reason for the movements of any ambassadors. With regard to the rest of the hon. Member's Question, if any agreement is made with the Russian Government its terms will be laid before† See(4)Debates, clxxviii., 1348–9.482 Parliament. My right hon. friend can only repeat the Answer given to the hon. Member on 13th June, in which he said that "the direct object of the negotiations is to prevent conflict and difficulties between the two Powers in the part of Asia which affects the Indian frontier and the Russian frontiers in that region. If the negotiations result in an agreement it will deal only with these questions." The internal affairs of another country cannot be brought into negotiations of this kind. As to the analogy of the Anglo-French agreement, surely it is obvious that the developments to which the hon. Member refers were the result of good feeling and public opinion, which is always free to take its own course, and which cannot be constrained, but which can be, when it chooses, the most effective influence in promoting goodwill between nations.