§ 53. Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that nearly five tons of gold, the property of the Russian Soviet Government, is on its way to London in the British steamship "Baltabor"; and whether steps will be taken to secure this and any other bullion coming from the Soviet authorities towards meeting their debts to British citizens?
§ Mr. THURTLE
On a point of Order. Is it in order for an hon. Member to put on the Paper a question inciting the Government of the day to robbery on the high seas?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I did not put that interpretation on the question. I would like to hear what the answer is.
I have been asked to reply. I have no information in regard to the first part of the question. As regards the second part of the question, I am not aware of any steps which it is in the power of the Government to take to secure that bullion coming from the Soviet authorities is used towards meeting their debts to British citizens.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Why are the British Government less active than the French Government in putting an embargo on this bullion?
Sir F. HALL
Is it not surprising that, in his reply to the first part of the question, the hon. Gentleman says that he does not know anything about it? Has it not appeared in all the Press that this five tons of gold is coming, and ought not the Government to be aware of the fact?
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Is it not a fact that this amount of gold has been sent over for the purpose of balancing the accounts?
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Does my hon. Friend recognise that this is a very serious matter, and will he ask the Foreign Office to keep a little more awake, so that these matters may be attended to in future?
I will convey to the Foreign Secretary my hon. Friend's suggestion that he should keep a little more awake.
§ Mr. SAKLATVALA
Will the Minister inquire whether this five tons of gold is not coming to run Communist candidates in this country?