HC Deb 23 April 1958 vol 586 cc938-40
14. Colonel Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT relevant extracts from the international undertakings of the Soviet Union which pledged that country to respect the independence of European countries, at present under Soviet domination or occupied by the Soviet Union, including Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I will, with permission, circulate extracts from the relevant Agreements in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Colonel Beamish

Is not it very important to contrast the crystal-clear legal and moral obligation of the Soviet Union in these matters with the recent very disheartening and cynical statement by Mr. Khrushchev in Hungary to the effect that the future of these countries was no business of the United Nations?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I think that that may well be so.

Following is the information:


Article 2 of the Peace Treaty between Russia and Estonia which was signed at Tartu on 2nd February, 1920, reads: In accordance with the right of all nations to self-determination, even to complete separation from the State whence they have sprung (proclaimed by the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic), Russia unequivocally recognises the independence and self existence of the Estonian State, and voluntarily and forever renounces her claim to all sovereign rights which belonged to Russia in connexion with the Estonian people and territory by reason of the late state régime, and also under international treaties, which shall for the future be null and void in the sense referred to above. No obligations with regard to Russia shall accrue to the Estonian territory and people owing to the fact that Estonia at one time belonged to Russia. Article 1 of a Treaty of Non-aggression between the U.S.S.R. and Estonia signed in Mascow on 4th May, 1932, and subsequently renewed, reads inter alia as follows: Both High Contracting Parties mutually guarantee the inviolability of the frontiers at present existing between them, as defined by the Peace Treaty signed on 2nd February, 1920, and bind themselves to abstain from any act of aggression one against the other, and from any acts of force directed against the integrity and inviolability of each other's territory"…


Article 2 of the Peace Treaty between Latvia and Russia signed at Riga on 11th August, 1920, stated: Russia recognises, without reservation, the independence, self-existence and sovereignty of the Latvian State, and voluntarily renounces forever all sovereign rights which belonged to Russia in regard to the Latvian nation and territory by virtue of the lawful constitutional order which existed in the past. No obligation whatever in regard to Russia arises for the Latvian nation and territory out of the fact that they formally belonged to Russia The Soviet-Latvian Treaty of Non-aggression, signed at Riga on 5th February, 1932, stated: Article 1. "The High Contracting Parties mutually undertake to abstain from any act of aggression against one another, and also from all acts of violence directed against the integrity and inviolability of their territory or against the political independence of the other High Contracting Party, independently of whether such aggression or similar action be taken separately or in conjunction with other Powers, with or without the declaration of war. Article 2. "Each of the High Contracting Parties binds itself not to participate in any military or politcal treaties, conventions or agreements directed against the independence, territorial integrity or political security of the other party" …


The Peace Treaty between Russia and Lithuania signed in Moscow on 12th July, 1920, stated in Article 1: Proceeding from the right, proclaimed by the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, of all nations to free self-determination up to their complete separation from the State into the composition of which they enter, Russia recognises without reservation the sovereign rights and independence of the Lithuanian State with all the juridical consequences arising from such recognition, and voluntarily and far all time abandons all the sovereign rights of Russia over the Lithuanian people and their territory. A treaty of Neutrality and Non-aggression between the two countries signed in Moscow on 28th September, 1926, stated: Article 2. "The U.S.S.R. and the Lithuanian Republic mutually undertake to respect in all circumstances the sovereignty and territorial integrity and inviolability of the other".

The Treaty was subsequently renewed

The Declaration on Liberated Europe

The Declaration on Liberated Europe, signed by the three Heads of State as part of the Yalta Agreement of 11th February. 1945, reads: They jointly declare their mutual agreement to concert during the temporary period of instability in Liberated Europe the policies of their three Governments in assisting the peoples liberated from the domination of Nazi Germany and the peoples of the former Axis Satellite States of Europe to solve by democratic means their pressing political and economic problems." … To foster the conditions in which the liberated peoples may exercise these rights, the three Governments will jointly assist the people in any European liberated State or former Axis Satellite State in Europe where, in their judgment, conditions require:
  1. (a) to establish conditions of internal peace;
  2. (b) to carry out emergency measures for the relief of distressed people;
  3. (c) to form interim Governmental authorities broadly representative of all democratic elements in the population and pledged to the earliest possible establishment through free elections of Governments responsive to the will of the people;
  4. (d) to facilitate where necessary the holding of such elections.
When, in the opinion of the three Governments, conditions in any European liberated State or any former Axis Satellite State in Europe make such action necessary, they will immediately consult together on the measures necessary to discharge the joint responsibilities set forth in this Declaration. By this Declaration we reaffirm our faith in the principles of the Atlantic Charter, our pledge in the Declaration by the United Nations, and our determination to build in co-operation with other peace-loving nations world order under law, dedicated to peace, security, freedom and general well being of all mankind.

The Atlantic Charter

The Dedlaration of Principles issued on 14th August, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter, and subsequently endorsed by the Joint Declaration by the United Nations on 1st January, 1942 (including the Soviet Government) stated, inter alia: First, their countries, seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other; Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned; Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live, and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them;" … Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want.

United Nations Charter

Chapter I, Article 1 (2) reads:

[The Purposes of the United Nations are:] To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace. Chapter 1, Article 2 (4), reads: All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.