§ 15. Captain PETER MACDONALD
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign 1412 Affairs if he has any further statement to make regarding the trial of British engineers in Russia; and whether any definite charges have yet been made against them?
§ 21. Sir A. KNOX
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has seen His Majesty's Ambassador to Moscow; and what decision has been come to regarding steps to be taken to secure the release of the British engineers imprisoned in Soviet Russia?
§ 22. Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can now inform the House as to the information received from the British Ambassador on his return from Moscow, with regard to the Soviet Government's reply to the representations which he has made for the release of the British citizens who have been imprisoned; and whether he can furnish the House with specific details of the charges made against them?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir John Simon)
The House will recall that I stated on Thursday last that I had requested our Ambassador in Moscow to return home immediately for consultation. Sir Esmond Ovey arrived on Sunday, and we have been in close consultation with him since. The Government have reached a decision which will be announced by the Prime Minister in reply to a question on business this afternoon. I would therefore ask my hon. Friends to await the Prime Minister's statement.
§ Sir J. SIMON
British subjects who go to Russia are not compelled to register with British Consulates in that country though it is probable that most of them do so. Consular records show that since the year 1927 about 170 persons have been so registered, but I have no information as to how many of them have since left Soviet Russia. Apart from British subjects who have entered Russia since the establishment of the Soviet regime, there are at the present time in the Soviet Union about 130 British subjects who have resided in that country since before the revolution and who, being now old or 1413 infirm, are wholly or partially dependent on relief administered by the British Subjects in Russia Relief Association.
§ Sir J. SIMON
As I have said, I think most British subjects who are in Russia do in fact communicate with the British Consulate, and it is undoubtedly very proper that they should do so, because it is not the duty of the British diplomatic representatives there to keep in touch with them.