HC Deb 13 May 1925 vol 183 cc1821-2

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that a large number of British subjects were thrown into prison by the Soviet Government in 1917 without trial; how many of them died in prison, and how many suffered permanent disablement from the effects of the illtreatment they underwent; and what steps he is taking to obtain redress for these British subjects, or for the relatives or dependants of those that died?

The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Austen Chamberlain)

The total number of claims in respect of imprisonment between 1917 and 1920 registered with the Russian Claims Department is 309. These include six claims in respect of death in prison, while certainly five, and possibly six, relate to persons who died, on release or later, as a result of imprisonment. 17 persons claim to have been permanently disabled as a result of their imprisonment. As regards the last part of the question, I regret to say that I do not see what steps can be taken at the present moment that would be in the least likely to prove effective


Would it be possible for the right hon. Gentleman to publish a list of the claimants, and for what they are claiming?


I do not quite see why I should do that. I doubt whether it would serve the purpose which, I presume, is in the mind of the hon. Member