HC Deb 15 July 1919 vol 118 cc179-81
1. Lieut. - Commander KEN WORTHS

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has now received a Report from the British Minister in Warsaw respecting the Anti-Jewish pogrom in Vilna and Pinsk; whether the British Minister's Report is based upon his own personal investigations in those cities or upon the personal investigation of other British officers; whether Jewish representatives were freely permitted in both cities to make statements on the outrages, or whether statements were accepted only from Polish representatives; and whether His Majesty's Government will publish the full text of the Report received from Warsaw?


The full Report on the treatment of Jews in Poland which His Majesty's Minister was instructed to prepare has not yet been received. A number of interim telegraphic reports have been received, but I think it would be more satisfactory to await the detailed statement which we are expecting than to-lay Papers now.

I might add that we are asking the United States Government whether they would be willing to allow a representative of His Majesty's Government to be attached to the Special Mission of Investigation which they are stated in the Press to be about to send to Poland.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Admiral Kolchak's Government has issued an order which conscripts all Jews for the Infantry and forbids any Jew to hold a commission; whether the Propaganda Department of Admiral Kolchak's Government is directed by the Holy Synod at Omsk and is issuing incitements against the Jews, on the ground that Bolshevism is created and sustained by the Jews; and whether the representatives of His Majesty's Government in Russia and Siberia have been instructed to take steps to prevent the persecution of the Jews?


I have no information in regard to the first or second parts of the hon. Member's question. I consider that the action attributed to Admiral Kolchak is unlikely to be founded on fact, having regard to a telegram recently dispatched by Admiral Kolchak to M. Sazonoff, the Foreign Minister representing the Omsk Government. In that telegram Admiral Kolchak states that as he learns that the Jewish population in Russia is anxious in regard to its future, he considers it opportune to recall the views which he has frequently and publicly expressed. These views are to the effect that the Omsk Government is endeavouring to guarantee to all the peoples of Russia, without distinction of religion and nationality, complete equality before the law, which will safeguard the personal welfare of all citizens.

No special instructions have been sent to His Majesty's representatives at Archangel and in Siberia in regard to the possible persecution of Jews, and Admiral Kolchak's telegram suggests that it is unnecessary, but the hon. Member may rest assured that our representatives, will always use their influence in the direction which he indicates.