HC Deb 23 April 1928 vol 216 cc630-2
62. Mr. DALTON

asked the Home Secretary whether he has received any communications from Russian banks in London regarding their alleged financial relations with Irish gunmen; and, if so, whether he will now make a further statement on the matter?

63 and 65. Mr. SAKLATVALA

asked the Home Secretary (1) if he has received any explanation or protest from the Russian banking institution to which the notes in connection with the Irish gumen were traced; and, if so, what are the contents of such communication;

(2) on what date were Bank of England notes found in the possession of Irish gunmen arrested before Easter for keeping firearms without a licence; were all the notes found on the prisoners traced hack to a Russian banking institution in this country or were there any that had not passed through that institution; on what date were they last in possession of the Russian bank; did the police investigation disclose among what other institutions or persons the notes had been circulated during a period of four weeks before the arrest; and were the notes so traced quite openly stamped by the Russian bank with its name or identification marks?


The substance of the communications sent to me by the two Russian banks established in this country has already appeared in the Press. I propose to avail myself of their offers to supply any information in their possession hearing upon this matter, and I am replying to-day in that sense to their communications. Pending the conclusion of any further investigation that may result, I do not think that it would be in the public interest to furnish the particulars asked for by the hon. Member for North Battersea (Mr. Saklatvala).


May we have an assurance, pending these investigations, and pending a further discussion in this House, that no further interference will take place with Anglo-Russian trade?


I really do not know what the hon. Member means.


May I ask the question in another form? May we have an assurance that there will be no more raids, similar to that upon Arcos, and no more interference with persons who are desirous of carrying on trade between this country and Russia for the benefit and employment of people in this country?


The hon. Member may be assured that the Secretary of State in this matter will not act unless he has information equally as good as he had in the ease of Arcos.


Has the right hon. Gentleman yet been able to trace the source of the leakage of confidential information from his Department to the hon. and gallant Member for Hitchin (Major Kindersley)?


I am quite satisfied—in fact I have applied to the hon. and gallant Member personally—that the information did not come either from my Department or from the police.


Had any report of these financial operations appeared in the Press, or in any other public way, before the question was asked?


No, certainly not—not to my knowledge.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

When the right hon. Gentleman says that his information is as good as before, is it not a fact that in his previous raid on the Arcos Bank he found nothing of any value at all?