HC Deb 16 March 1917 vol 91 cc1514-5

At Question Time to-day, in answer to my right hon. Friend the Member for East Fife (Mr. Asquith), the Leader of the House said that if further information were received from Russia he would be glad to communicate it to the House in answer to a question at the time of adjournment. I beg now, on behalf of my right hon. Friend, to ask if the right hon. Gentleman has any statement on the subject to make?


It will be remembered that, in the message which I read to the House last night on the abdication of the Czar and the establishment of a Regency, I was careful to read the exact words of the telegram, which were that the message had been received at the Embassy from the Duma. I noticed at the time, to my regret, it did not say it was from the President of the Duma, and of course I was well aware that the impression on the House would be that it was an accomplished fact. Since then we have received the following message: What was stated in my previous telegram does not appear to be quite accurate. The Emperor's abdication and the appointment of the Grand Duke Michael as Regent have not as yet been carried into effect, although decided upon by the Executive Committee. I have only to add that we have received another telegram to the effect that it is not known where the Czar is. That is all the information we have received on the subject. I am sure that the House will feel that in these circumstances our knowledge is so meagre that it is impossible to formulate an accurate estimate of what has taken place.