HC Deb 24 March 1947 vol 435 cc828-30
6. Professor Savory

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply he has sent to the telegram sent to him by the British subjects of Lithuanian descent on the occasion of Lithuania's. Independence Day, 15th February, complaining that the Lithuanian people are still forced to live under foreign occupation and totally deprived of all those human rights in defence of which the war was fought; and whether he will inform the House that all efforts will be made at Moscow to help the Lithuanian people to recover their freedom and independence.

Mr. McNeil

The telegram in question was intended to bring a resolution to the notice of my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. It is not usual to reply to such communications.

Professor Savory

But is anything going to be done in Moscow? Are the Government going to accept the secret agreement made between Ribbentrop and Molotov in 1939 in accordance with which these States were annexed? Is that not inconsistent with British honour?

Mr. McNeil

Without commenting on the last assertion, I have no reason to believe that this subject will occur on the Moscow agenda.

Mr. McGovern

Is the Minister aware of the action of Lithuanians in Lanarkshire, Scotland, who engaged in a day's fast in protest against the terrible tragedy of Lithuania under Russian domination?

Mr. McNeil

That was demonstrated by the telegram which has been referred to.

Sir Patrick Hannon

May I ask the Minister of State if any steps will be taken to safeguard the future of the three little countries, including Lithuania, in the Baltic States which have been absorbed in recent times, and for the liberation of which this country took such risks and, paid so much after the close of the first world war? Surely, we can have some answer?

Vice-Admiral Taylor

May I ask whether His Majesty's Government are satisfied with the complete lack of independence of that country, and what steps they propose to take?

Earl Winterton

Does the right hon. Gentleman's answer—or his lack of answer—indicate that His Majesty's Government are not prepared at any time to discuss the matter raised by my hon Friend which does to some extent concern the honour of this country?

Mr. McNeil

His Majesty's Government have already made several statements to the House on this subject. If the hon. Gentleman has any precise points arising from this, perhaps he will be good enough to put down a Question.

Mr. Cocks

Was not that country a part of the old Russian Empire?

Professor Savory

But she gave up by treaty the three Baltic States.