HC Deb 26 May 1930 vol 239 cc792-4

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can inform the House as to the decision arrived at by the Government with regard to the intensive campaign of propaganda just instituted by the Third International in Great Britain, India, and Egypt, for which special grants of money have recently been made by the Presidium of the Komintern, in which connection the subsidy paid to the "Daily Worker" newspaper bas been increased?


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when he last made representations to the Soviet Government in regard to the hostile propaganda of the Third International against this country?


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the meeting of the Executive Bureau of the Profintern at which it was decided to organise international help for the Indian revolution; and whether he proposes to make any representations through the Embassy to the Soviet Government with regard to this further breach of the agreement against hostile propaganda in the British Empire?

32. Sir K. WOOD

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the recent issue of "Pravda," again urging the necessity of giving help to the Indian masses fighting for freedom from British oppression, and alleging that martial law, mass arrests, flogging, and incitement to strife between Moslems and Hindus, are widely practised by the officials and generals of the so-called Labour Government; whether he has been informed by the British Ambassador of the setting up by Lozovsky, a member of the Central Executive of the Soviet Union, of an international school for agitators for operating against this country, under the management of the Profintern; whether he has also received information from our Ambassador of the meeting of the Profintern last week, and the proceedings at a special sitting, to consider the best methods for directing the disturbances in India so as to deal an effective blow at the British Empire; and what action he is taking?

35. Marquess of TITCHFIELD

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to statements made in the Soviet Press, of 20th May, that the British Government is called a Government of hangmen, and that the Komintern gives the Indian revolutionaries its sympathy and unlimited assistance which will enable them to fight to a finish; and whether he will make representations to the Soviet Government in view of their pledge to refrain from hostile propaganda?

37. Captain P. MACDONALD

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is yet in a position to make a further statement on the subject of the hostile propaganda carried on by the Soviet Government in violation of their undertaking, and to indicate what action he proposes to take with reference to the matter?

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

The reports to which the hon. Members draw attention in these questions appear to be based exclusively on Press statements. In so far as these statements consist merely of abuse, they do not call for notice. But as regards reports of action contemplated or taken by various Communist organisations, His Majesty's Government, with a view to securing full information, have set up appropriate machinery for examining any evidence that may be available. His Majesty's Government will decide, on the basis of these inquiries, what action, if any, would be appropriate.


Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that this House only approved of the resumption of diplomatic relations with Russia on the express undertaking that all propaganda should cease, and is he satisfied that the Russian Government are doing everything in their power to stop hostile propaganda against this country?


Yes, and I also informed the House that the Government were watching the position, and that they would bring the matter before the House when they thought it was necessary, but in the first instance the Government must be the judge. I have shown to-day that the Government have taken action, that they are going to have examined any evidence that they can lay hold of—we cannot act merely upon Press statements—and that the Government will be responsible for taking appropriate action.


Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that none of the subsidy to the "Daily Worker" comes from the Conservative party?


Will the right hon. Gentleman give details of the machinery which is being set up?


No, Sir.

Back to