HC Deb 20 February 1908 vol 184 cc1020-1
MR. LONSDALE (Armagh, Mid.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that alarm has been occasioned in Sweden by the report of Russia's intention to demand release from her treaty obligations in regard to the fortification or permanent military or naval occupation of the Aland Islands; whether any representations have been made by Russia proposing the abrogation of the treaty of 1856; and what is the attitude of His Majesty's Government upon this question.


At the same time may I ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any representations have been received by His Majesty's Government from the Russian Government regarding the position in the Aland Islands and the continuance of the Aland Treaty; and, if so, whether he is prepared to make any statement on the subject.

MR. BYLES (Salford, N.)

May I also ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether his attention has been called to the political unrest in Sweden occasioned by the negotiations said to be pending between Great Britain and the other signatories of the Treaty of Paris of a nature likely to affect the position of Sweden in the Baltic; and can he make any reassuring statement which would satisfy the House that Great Britain is making no arrangement which would be disadvantageous to a friendly Power.


I am aware that anxiety on this subject has found public expression in Sweden. The Treaty referred to is one to which Great Britain, France, and Russia are parties, and I can make no statement about any negotiations concerning it except that it is not at the present moment necessary for His Majesty's Government to come to any decision about it. If, and when, this is necessary, we shall of course consult with both the other parties to the Treaty, and take into account the feeling of Sweden and every other circumstance which is relevant, before coming to any decision.

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