HC Deb 26 November 1930 vol 245 cc1281-3

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has made any representations to the Soviet Government similar to those officially announced to have been made by the French Government, protesting against the allegation officially advanced in the 10-day defence programme that the British Government have been involved with the French Government and a group of Russian professors in a plot for the invasion of the United States of Soviet Russia?

10. Major-General Sir ALFRED KNOX

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to a statement by Krylenko, the official prosecutor of Soviet Russia, in his indictment of certain Russian industrialists, that the Governments of France and England have planned intervention in Russia for 1931; and if he will protest, as the French Government has already done, against this accusation?


The documents, issued to the Russian Press in connection with these proceedings, include a number of depositions by private individuals, in some of which unfounded accusations are made against various British subjects and also against His Majesty's Government. By far the greater part of these accusations relate to the years 1927–1928. The summary accompanying these depositions, citing the alleged offences of the accused, and signed by the Public Prosecutor, contains passages involving another foreign Power, but makes no reference to His Majesty's Government or to any British subject. There are, therefore, no grounds for a protest to the Soviet Government.


Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the issue of the paper "Pravda" of the 11th November, which directly charges His Majesty's Government, in agreement with the French Government, with preparing for intervention in Russia next year; and does he not think it is his duty, in the interests of ordinary humanity, to assist these people who are being tried for their lives?


I have not seen the paper to which the hon. and gallant Member refers. If he will supply me with any point upon which he thinks I can take further action, I shall be very pleased to have it.


Is it not a fact that in addition to the private persons who have substantiated this statement, the Soviet Government themselves, in the trial which is now proceeding, associated themselves with this statement, and added the British Government to it?


If the right hon. Gentleman will supply me with the information upon which this statement is based I will look into the matter.


Can the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that if a copy of "Pravda" is supplied to him he will see that it is not one which was printed in this country?