HC Deb 07 December 1922 vol 159 cc1979-80

asked the Prime Minister if the British Government has agreed to the decision not to accept representatives of the Republic of Georgia at Lausanne unless they come as part of the Russian delegation; and, if so, is the British Government aware that the people of Georgia do not recognise the Bolshevist invaders and that the present occupation of Georgia by the Bolshevists is a gross violation of pledges given guaranteeing the independence of the Republic?


The invitation to the Georgian Government to send representatives to Lausanne was conveyed through the Russian Government, with the suggestion that Georgian delegates should accompany the Russian delegation. This plan was adopted because the only means of communication with the Georgian Government lies through Moscow, and also because Georgian interest in the Lausanne negotiations is analogous to that of Russia. His Majesty's Government declined to admit the right of the exiled Georgian Government to representation at the conference. In regard to the second part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. O'Connor) on the 19th December of last year, and to that given to the hon. Member for Clitheroe on 2nd March last.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

On a point of Order. Is it in order for a Minister to refer to questions asked in the last Parliament?



57. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Prime Minister whether he can now make a statement as to the position of the negotiations at Lausanne in regard to safeguarding the absolute freedom of the Straits?


Negotiations in regard to the Straits question are still going on and I can make no statement at present.


(by Private Notice) asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been directed to the statement of the British Foreign Secretary, made yesterday to the First Commission at Lausanne, that with reference to the International Commission for the demilitarisation and control of the Straits it has yet to be decided whether or not it shall work under the auspices of the League of Nations; and whether, in view of the excellent results achieved by the League Demilitarisation Commission in the case of the Aaland Islands, he will instruct the Foreign Secretary that it is the wish of this country that the work should be carried out under the auspices of the League.


The statement reported in the Press by the Foreign Secretary, of which I have no official information, does not preclude the association of the League of Nations, and I am sure the House will feel that while these very difficult negotiations, in which so many nations are involved, are going on, it is impossible for me to make any statement.