HC Deb 20 February 1924 vol 169 cc1746-7
56. Mr. AYLES

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the present Hungarian regime, which was formally recognised in the name of the Supreme Council on 20th November, 1919, was recognised on certain conditions, one of which was that the Hungarian Government shall secure to the Hungarian citizen full civil rights, including freedom of the Press, freedom of assembly, the free expression of political opinion, and universal suffrage resting on an impartial, secret, and democratic basis; and whether he will use his influence in the League of Nations to make the adherence to such condition one of the requirements before the granting of the suggested loan?


The Prime Minister is aware that certain stipulations, including the establishment of universal suffrage, were made by the Supreme Council in October, 1919, as a Condition of the recognition of the Hungarian Government. The Supreme Council were satisfied on this point, and, in fact, a general election was thereupon held on the basis of universal suffrage. Subsequent legislation by the Parliament so elected modified the franchise. The negotiations regarding the League of Nations scheme for Hungarian reconstruction have now been practically completed, and the hon. Member will realise that the introduction of political conditions at this stage would inevitably jeopardise the whole scheme.


Is the recognition of the Russian Government contingent on the conditions specified in this question?


No, Sir; the recognition of the Russian Government was unconditional.


Do the Government really attach any vital importance to the conditions that are laid down in agreements such as those mentioned in the question, and will they see that in any future arrangements that are made with Hungary these stipulations are really carried out?


The Government do attach importance to the observance of the original understanding, but, obviously, they cannot interfere in the internal government of an independent State.