HC Deb 19 July 1916 vol 84 cc1030-1W

asked the Home Secretary whether Russians of military age, desirous to return to Russia are now only permitted to go via Archangel, and not by the shorter Swedish route; whether such Russian travellers are now being sent at the cost of the British Government; if so, why they are not allowed to travel at their, own expense; and whether, in the interests of economy, he will alter these arrangemnts?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, and to the second in the negative; the rest, therefore, does not arise.

87. Mr. KING

asked at what date the first party batch of Russians were sent from this country to Russia via Archangel; how many parties have now been sent; how many Russian subjects in all have been so sent up to the present; whether any escort was sent with these men; if so, how many escorting persons were sent and at whose expense; and whether all Russians thus transported to Russia were clearly informed that if they remained here they might go before a tribunal which is to be set up?


The hon. Member's question no doubt refers to the arrangement made last month whereby Russians who have of their own free will applied to the Russian Consul for identification papers and to the Permit Office for a permit to enable them to return to Russia for military service are required to travel via Archangel. Their return to Russia is voluntary, no escort is sent with them, and in every case before a permit is issued they are offered the option of serving in the British Army. The number of persons who have so far left for Russia in this way is about twelve.