HC Deb 01 November 1920 vol 134 cc41-2
38. Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Prime Minister what is the present situation in Lithuania; and whether His Majesty's Government are taking any steps to preserve the independence of that small nationality?


According to our most recent information, the troops under General Zeligovski have not advanced beyond the vicinity of Vilna and the Lithuanian Government is located in Kovno. As regards the second part of the question, the League of Nations is now dealing with the Polish-Lithuanian dispute.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

May I ask why equally vigorous action has not been taken in this matter to that which was taken towards the Russian Government in its advance on Warsaw?


I hope that very effective action has been taken.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

It does not appear to have been very effective.


asked the Prime Minister whether the Council of the League of Nations have decided that they can take no further part in nor offer any opinion on the questions at issue between the Polish Government, the Lithuanian Government, and the Provisional Military Government of General Zeligovski at Vilna; whether there is any British representative in Vilna; and, if so, what is the situation in that city?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. I understand that the matter has been before the Council of the League at their recent meeting, but until the report of the Council is received I cannot make any statement on the subject. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative. As regards the third part, I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer given to the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) to-day.


Is it the intention to send British representatives to Lithuania, in order that the British Government may be informed of what is going on there?


Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us when the decision of the Council of the League of Nations on this question between Poland and Lithuania will be made?


I hope it will be made soon. The question came before the League last week, and certain steps were directed, but how long it will take to carry them out I do not know; it depends upon whether there is a plebiscite or not. In reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Mr. Ormsby-Gore), I think we have a representative in Lithuania.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman once again whether he will not take some steps to regularise the presentment of the decisions of the Council of the League to this House, since, at present, this House has really no official information as to what is done and what is not done?


I think there is a good deal to be said for that. My right hon. Friend will be back either today or to-morrow, and I will bring the suggestion to his notice.