HC Deb 23 June 1927 vol 207 cc2020-1
9. Mr. RHYS

asked the Home Secretary the number of Russians deported since the Arcos raid; the grounds on which any incriminated persons are permitted to remain; and whether further deportation sentences are to be carried out?

13. Captain FOXCROFT

asked the Home Secretary the number of Soviet subjects employed in the diplomatic legation, the Trade Delegation, and Arcos, respectively, at the time of our severance of relations with these bodies; and the number of Soviet subjects connected with these bodies, respectively, who still remain in this country?


With the permission of the House, I should like to take the opportunity afforded by these questions to make a general statement on the position.

To deal first with the Soviet citizens belonging to the Mission and to the Trade Delegation, the former numbered 31, and all have gone except one who has been warned to leave, but whose departure has not actually been reported. The Trade Delegation numbered 53, of whom 41 have gone and six have received a final notice to go; while the remaining six have not yet been finally disposed of. Those who have gone were accompanied by their dependants, who are not included in the above figures.

Distinct from these two classs are the Soviet citizens, numbering some 350, employed in Arcos and the other trading organisations, with whose legitimate business activities it is the aim of His Majesty's Government to interfere as little as possible. Of these, 48 have left or are about to leave—some of them voluntarily and others as the result of special instructions—and they will be checked out in due course. But this is only a preliminary survey; and the cases of the remainder, many of whom were resident in this country before the Trade Agreement, are now under review and are being examined individually.

This examination must take time if the risk of doing damage to legitimate trade interests by hasty action is to be avoided; but it will be pressed forward as rapidly as possible, and I can assure the House that any attempt on the part of these Soviet citizens to engage in political activities under the guise of trade will not be tolerated, and that any implicated will be immediately deported. I may perhaps add that up to date there has been no question of making deportation orders under the powers contained in the Aliens Order, but such orders will be made if required to enforce the decision in any particular case.