HC Deb 20 February 1924 vol 169 c1715
9. Mr. MOREL

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the publication by the Russian Government of official documents from the Russian Imperial archives disclosing pre-War actions and negotiations between our Russian and French Allies presumably withheld from His Majesty's Government and concealed from this House, of the existence of numerous falsifications, likewise revealed by the Russian Government, in the Russian Imperial Orange Book, which was officially circulated together with the official publications of other. Allied Governments by His Majesty's Government at the outbreak of war, and of the recent reproduction of many of these documents in the Congressional Record of the United States, His Majesty's Government will consider the advisability of placing Members of this House in a position at least as advantageous as that of members of the United States Congress for the examination of these documents, by issuing them as a White Paper, and will further consider the public advantage which would be derived from the publication of such documents as may exist in the British official records calculated to throw light upon these disclosures?


The United States Congress places material on its Record of a less official kind than that laid before Parliament by His Majesty's Government, and it is impossible to publish as a White Paper records of negotiations with which His Majesty's Government were not at the time directly concerned, and of which they have now no knowledge other than that in the possession of the public at large. In any case action could not be taken in the manner suggested without the permission of the other Governments concerned. The same consideration applies to the suggestion in the. last part of the hon. Member's question. My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, sees, however, the advantage of some further publication of the pre-War British records, and will consider what course might be profitably adopted.