HC Deb 26 June 1935 vol 303 cc1078-9
17. Sir W. DAVISON

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the categorical statement made by Mr. A. W. Woodhouse, the British consul in charge of the British Embassy premises in Petrograd in 1918, that he had borrowed for the purposes of the British Government certain jewels belonging to Mr. C. H. Bucknall, a British citizen, which had been deposited in the Embassy for safe keeping; whether, seeing that such jewels were subsequently stolen from the Embassy premises by officials of the Soviet Government, he will inform the House of the reasons which have induced the British Government to disclaim the debt of honour incurred on their behalf by the British consul, Mr. Woodhouse; and whether steps will at once be taken to secure the payment of compensation to Mr. Bucknall by the Soviet Government or, in the alternative, that the British Government will make good his losses pending such restitution?


As regards the first and second parts of the question I have nothing to add to the very full statement which was made by my right hon. Friend the Minister for League of Nations Affairs in the course of the Debate on the Adjournment on the 7th June. As regards Mr. Bucknall's claim against the Soviet Government, that claim is registered with the Russian Claims Department of the Board of Trade and will receive the same treatment as other claims so registered.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that his right hon. colleague the Minister for League of Nations Affairs, in the speech to which he has referred, never dealt at all with the definite statement of His Majesty's repre- sentative that he had borrowed this money for British purposes before the raid?


I have seen all the communications upon this question, and I could not accept the assumption in my hon. Friend's supplementary question. In any case, I think he will find, if he reads again the report of the Debate, that all the relevant facts were dealt with. If there are facts which were not dealt with, perhaps my hon. Friend will communicate with me on the subject.

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