HC Deb 17 October 1945 vol 414 c1154
32. Major Guy Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what. proportion of the 2,000,000 Russians returned to Russia from the American, British and French zones by 20th September came from the British zone; how many Russian citizens remained in the British zone and whether they will be repatriated to Russia irrespective of their own wishes; and whether the definition of a Russian citizen in the British-occupied zone includes persons originally domiciled in Latvia, Lithuania and Esthonia.

Mr. Noel-Baker

The military authorities inform me that the Soviet citizens repatriated from Western Germany up to 15th September numbered roughly 2,000,000, of whom 917,000 were from the British zone. I am unable to say how many still remained on 20th September, but there are still a few coming forward from day to day. His Majesty's Government have agreed with the Soviet Government that each of them will arrange for the repatriation of all the nationals of the other who are liberated by the Forces under its command. Persons whose homes of origin are in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are only treated as Soviet citizens for purposes of repatriation if they so desire.

Major Lloyd

Do I understand from the reply that that repatriation is compulsory, in accordance with the agreement, whether or not the individual desires it?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I have explained that for those people whose origin was in these three territories it is only if they desire to be repatriated.