HC Deb 04 April 1921 vol 140 cc21-2
46. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the Parliament of Finland voted on the 10th March last a payment of 30,000,000 Finnish marks to the German Government for the German expedition under General Von der Goltz in the spring of 1918; whether the threat of this German army to Murmansk and Petchenga necessitated the despatch of a British naval and military expedition at great expense when every ship and soldier was required in the main theatres of war; and whether this money should be paid to the British Exchequer rather than to the Germans, particularly in view of the fact that General Ludendorf states in his memoirs that the expedition was not sent from any sentimental point of view, but simply to serve the military interests of Germany?


The British expedition to North Russia was sent in accordance with the general plan of campaign for the successful prosecution of the War, but no doubt, at that date, some apprehension was felt as to the attitude of Finland, and precautions were taken. On 10th March last the Finnish Diet sanctioned the inclusion of a sum of 30,000,000 Finnish marks in the Vote of the Ministry of Finance under the heading "For Restoration of Order in 1918." His Majesty's Government are not in a position to interfere in the disposal of Finnish funds.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the Government not in the position to bring some pressure upon Finland, by diplomatic means or otherwise, to prevent this money being handed over to Germany? Should it not be handed over to relieve the British taxpayer?

Colonel C. LOWTHER

I agree with the hon. and gallant Member.