HC Deb 18 July 1923 vol 166 cc2280-1

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware of the executions and persecutions of the Georgian people which are being carried out by the Bolshevist Government which has invaded Georgia and overthrown the democratic Government of that country; if he is aware that the Bolshevists have thrown the Georgian Catholicos Patriarch into dungeons, together with other bishops and clergy, because they refused to sign a declaration prepared by the Tcheka falsely stating that religion was free in Georgia and that the appeal sent to Genoa was a forgery; and whether, in view of the recognition of the independence of Georgia by the Allied Governments and the League of Nations, the British Government can take any action by diplomatic methods to influence the Moscow Government to stop its present action in Georgia?


Although the Secretary of State has no official confirmation, he has no reason to doubt the substantial accuracy of the facts recited in the first two parts of the question, similar reports having reached the Foreign Office from a variety of well-informed sources. But, deeply as His Majesty's Government deplore the outrages and persecution referred to by the hon. Member, the Soviet Government has unfortunately established effective control over Georgian territory, which it is forcibly incorporating in the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, and His Majesty's Government are only too well aware of the uselessness of attempting to influence the Soviet Government by diplomatic methods when unaccompanied by pressure such as in this case they have no means of exercising.


Should the question of the recognition of the Soviet Government arise, will the British Government, in considering that matter, insist in the conditions of recognition, that the independence of these States should be recognised?

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Have we any representative in Georgia, and is the hon. Gentleman aware that the present Russian Army in Georgia was invited there by the Georgian people, and that complete tranquillity reigns in that country?


In answer to the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden), I think he will realise that it would be impossible for me to give at present a pledge of that description, in regard to a situation which is quite hypothetical, but if it is any satisfaction to him for me to express my personal concurrence with his view, I do so gladly.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Will the hon. Gentleman answer my question as to whether we have any representative in Georgia?


The hon. and gallant Member should put that question on the Paper.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

I think it is a very proper question, in view of the statement in the question on the Paper.



Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

The new Coalition—Snowden and Ronald McNeill! Go over to the other side!

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