HC Deb 10 November 1921 vol 148 cc589-90
27. Mr. MILLS

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the published declaration of the Russian Government to recognise the debts of the Tsarist Government; whether he is able to state what is now the policy of His Majesty's Government in relation to granting credits for the relief of the famine-stricken population and area in Russia; and what is its present attitude to this urgent matter, having in mind its relation to the international claims of humanity and to the equally pressing question of distress caused in the country by unemployment?

Sir P. LLOYD-GREAME (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

Correspondence with the Soviet Government about the recognition of Russia's foreign liabilities was laid on the Table of the House on 3rd November. In answer to the last parts of the question, I can add nothing to what was said by the Prime Minister in the House on 16th August last and on 8th November by the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs on the Report stage of the Civil Service Supplementary Estimates.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

May I ask the Prime Minister whether the recent step forward of the Russian Government towards acknowledging its debts has been met by any corresponding advance by His Majesty's Government, and, if so, what?


Is it not a fact that at the present moment the Russian Bolsheviks have a college at Teheran teaching Indian rebels how to conquer India?


Has any time been suggested in which these debts should be paid?

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

On a point of Order. When I put a question to the Prime Minister, which you allow, Mr. Speaker, as relevant, will you allow that answer to be given and not to be blanketed by irrelevant questions?


If I allow an hon. Member to ask a supplementary question, it is not an assurance that there will be an answer.

39. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Prime Minister whether the change in policy of His Majesty's Government, respecting assistance to Russia, was due to representations from the French Government or from Russian emigrés in this country?


There is no change in the policy of His Majesty's Government respecting the Russian famine.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Has there not been a change?


Has there been any real need to change since the right hon. Gentleman made his speech in this House advocating that assistance be given to Russia?


As a matter of fact assistance is being given, and my recollection is that at the end of the speech I said that one of the most effective ways of assisting Russia was for her to pay her debts and so establish confidence in the trading countries.

Captain BENN

Can the right hot. Gentleman give the comparative figures of the assistance given to starving Russia and assistance given to military enterprises against Russia?


Ought not all these forms of charity to begin at home?


Really, that is a matter which we debated only yesterday.