HC Deb 17 February 1932 vol 261 cc1622-3
10. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information as to a shooting of Jews at Soroca, on the Rumanian border; and, as the Jews in Rumania constitute a minority population for which we have a treaty liability, will he make inquiries as to what steps are being taken in the matter?


His Majesty's Minister at Bucharest has reported that the victims of this incident, five of whom were of Jewish race, were crossing the River Dniester, near Soroca, on the 9th January, in the direction of Soviet territory, when they were challenged by Rumanian frontier guards. On being challenged they did not stop, and the guards accordingly fired, killing four of the party on the spot, and wounding two who subsequently died. A report on the incident, published by the Rumanian Minister of Defence, states that all the victims were active Communists, and points out that, since Communists crossing the Dniester have frequently been well armed, the guards have standing orders to fire immediately when persons challenged refuse to stop. I have no information that any complaint of a breach of the Minorities Treaty has been made to the League of Nations, and the facts as reported do not require His Majesty's Government to take action under the Rumanian Minorities Treaty.


That, of course, is the official Rumanian Report. Is our Minister at Bucharest satisfied that this is a correct account of what happened?


I have given to the House quite faithfully the report that was made to us by the Minister. I will gladly inform hon. Members if I have any further information to add.

Lieut.-Commander AGNEW

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether the deceased victims had in their possession passports duly visaed by the Rumanian authorities?


I cannot say that.