HC Deb 17 June 1920 vol 130 cc1433-5
27. Viscount CURZON

asked the Prime Minister whether the United States Government has expressed any opinion as to the negotiations now proceeding between the Prime Minister and M. Krassin; and whether the United States Government were consulted before the decision to open negotiations and to recognise the Soviet Government was definitely arrived at?


The American Ambassador in Italy was present at the San Remo Conference where the decision of the Allied Powers to enter into commercial relations with Russia was taken, and was no doubt reported by him to his Government. We have received no protest against the decision then taken from the American Government. The American Government have been kept informed of the progress of events in case they should at any time express a desire to join in the conversations. They have already nominated an expert to take part in the economic discussions. I may add that Japan and Belgian have intimated their intention to take part in the conversation with M. Krassin.

31. Viscount CURZON

asked the Prime Minister how long it is contemplated that the presence of Krassin in this country will be necessary; whether the process of recognition of, and negotiation with, the Soviet Government gives any reason to hope that a constitutional government will be set up in Soviet Russia with whom we can enter into relation or any prospect of obtaining much needed foodstuffs, raw material, etc., release of our prisoners and those of our Allies held as slaves in Soviet Russia, and the settlement of Russia's external debt.


The answer to the first part of the question depends on the course of the negotiations at present in progress. In answer to the second part of the question, nogotiations are proceeding with the Russian Trade Delegation on some of the points raised by the hon. and gallant Member. I can add nothing to the statements made by me in this House on the 3rd and 7th June, 1920.

Viscount CURZON

Has the right hon. Gentleman any news whatever as regards our naval prisoners at Baku?


Can the Prime Minister tell us the number of Russian prisoners in German territory?


Notice must be given of these questions. The Prime Minister is not omniscient and he cannot remember the number of these prisoners.

39. Captain TUDOR REES

asked the Prime Minister whether he is now in a position to make a statement as to what, if any, decisions have been arrived at as a result of the negotiations between himself and M. Krassin?


I hope to be in a position to make a statement shortly.

45. Mr. DOYLE

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the announcement that the Russian authorities have decided to send a Russian trade union deputation of inquiry to this country, whether he will take steps to prevent such mission being used for propaganda purposes; and if he will insist on a pledge to that effect being given before the deputation reaches these shores?


I can think of no better propaganda than to give trade union deputations an opportunity of seeing for themselves the working of the two rival systems. The visit of the British deputation to Russia seems to have had a very steadying effect.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say that until the British prisoners in Russia have been released he will cease flirting with the Soviet Government?

Back to
Forward to