HC Deb 27 April 1933 vol 277 cc263-4W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is able to state what steps His Majesty's Government intend to take to obtain the immediate release of Mr. W. H. Thornton, one of the Metropolitan-Vickers employés at Moscow recently sentenced to three years' imprisonment?


Since the arrest of the Metro-Vickers employés and during their trial by the Soviet authorities, I have at various times explained to the House the policy followed by His Majesty's Government for the purpose of securing their release. I will repeat that, as was stated on the introduction of the Russian Goods (Import Prohibition) Bill and reiterated in the House of Lords on behalf of the Government yesterday, the powers which the Government have obtained are for the purpose of securing as far as we can the lives and liberty of the accused and for no other purpose, and that the embargo under the Act can be removed, and will be removed, as soon as Mr. Thornton and Mr. Macdonald return safe to this country, assuming of course that the Soviet counter measures are also withdrawn.