HC Deb 13 February 1930 vol 235 cc607-8

(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will take immediate steps under Article 11 of the Covenant of the League of Nations to bring before the League the question of the conditions affecting religious liberty in Russia.

The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Arthur Henderson)

The reports current as regards the religious situation in Russia have caused widespread and deep concern in this and other countries and are receiving the serious consideration of His Majesty's Government. I have grave doubts whether the course suggested by the right hon. Gentleman would promote the object which he has in view, but the House may rest assurred that His Majesty's Government will, when possible or compatible with the interests of those affected, use all its influence in support of the cause of religious liberty and the freedom of religious practice.


Is there not more tolerance and liberty for religious people in Russia to-day than there was under the Tsar?


That does not arise out of the question.


In view of the statements and counter-statements in this matter in this country, will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to instruct our representative in Moscow to make a report on the religious situation in Russia?


I can inform the House that I am now awaiting a report from him.