HC Deb 15 February 1954 vol 523 cc1636-7
31. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the Swedish-Soviet agreement on the payment of compensation for nationalised and expropriated Swedish interests in the Baltic States, in order to improve Swedish-Soviet trade, particulars of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion, he will inform the Soviet authorities that it would facilitate our future trade agreements with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were she to acquiesce in the distribution to British creditors of Baltic assets now held on British account in this country by the Custodian of Enemy Property.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

No, Sir. Her Majesty's Government are not prepared to take any steps which would imply or constitute de jure recognition of the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States.

Mr. Teeling

I thank my hon. Friend for his reply. Is he aware that when I discussed this matter with his fellow Under-Secretary, neither of us was aware of this Swedish agreement? If agreement is possible between Sweden and Russia over their problems in the Baltic States, surely we ought to make quite sure that, if we are going to increase our trade with the Soviet Republics, they recognise the fact that we have these holdings and could distribute them if necessary?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I think that my hon. Friend, when he saw my upper joint colleague, was made aware of the facts of the situation. It is impossible to do what my hon. Friend wants without de jure recognition of the annexation of the Baltic States.