HC Deb 12 November 1934 vol 293 cc1500-1
22. Sir W. DAVISON

asked the First Commissioner of Works whether he will inform the House of the value of the property belonging to His Majesty's Government which was stolen from the British Embassy in Petrograd in 1918; what was the nature of the property which was stolen; how much of the same has been recovered; and what was the value and nature of the property which has not been recovered and in respect of which no compensation has hitherto been paid?

Sir VICTOR WARRENDER (Vice-Chamberlain of the Household)

I have been asked to reply. It is assumed that my hon. Friend is alluding to the British Embassy service of silver plate which was looted in the course of the Russian revolution. This service, which belonged to the Embassy and not to the Ambassador personally, was valued at £11,235 of which only £475 worth has been recovered and restored, and the whereabouts of the remainder is unknown. In addition it is estimated that some £900 worth of furniture was taken from the Embassy.


What reason has been given by the Soviet Government for not either returning this plate or giving compensation? There is no question of it being a Government robbery because the people in the Embassy were taken to the Peter and Paul fortress, which is a Government prison.


Was this included in the jewellery presented to the "Daily Herald" in 1920?


My hon. Friend cannot expect me to answer a detailed question. I have said that the whereabouts of the plate is not at the moment known.