HC Deb 25 November 1920 vol 135 cc660-1W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, if he is aware that Major Temperley has returned to this country after his mission to Montenegro on behalf of the Government; whether it is still the policy of the Government to allow no official information in regard to Montenegrin affairs to be given to Parliament or the public; and, if not, whether he will publish Major Temperley's Report before the elections take place for a constituent assembly in Montenegro, so as to enable Parliament to judge how far there is any probability of such election a bonâ fide expression of free Montenegrin opinion?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative and to the second part in the negative. Papers will be laid before Parliament as soon as the results of the elections in Montenegro are known and independent evidence is available regarding them.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that the Serbians in occupation of Montenegro are now putting or are about to put on their trial for high treason some 180 leading citizens of Montenegro, whose only offence is their refusal to swear fidelity to the Serbian prince regent, to whom they owe no allegiance; whether he is aware that the influence and suffrages of these Montenegrins would have considerable influence in the forthcoming elections for a constituent assembly if they were possessed of freedom, and that judicial murder on a large scale is probably impending as a means of getting rid of these patriots; and whether His Majesty's Government will inform the Serbian Government that the elections will not be recognised as bonâ fide if such an atrocity is perpetrated or will take any other steps to prevent such an occurrence?


I am aware that the Serbian Croat Slovene authorities have put on trial about 180 persons; the charges have not been fully made known, but are stated to include offences such as treasonable relations with the Austrian Government during the War. It is not for His Majesty's Government to interfere in such proceedings. Whatever influence the accused persons may possess, His Majesty's Government have no reason whatever for attaching any credit to the charge of intended judicial murder. The third part of the question, therefore, does not arise.

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