HC Deb 05 June 1940 vol 361 cc854-5W
Sir C. Rawson

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will publish the terms of the reply of the Soviet Government to the request of His Majesty's Government, in March, 1923, for the grant to Mr. Joseph Martin of compensation for injuries received, resulting in blindness, during his imprisonment in Moscow without trial, seeing that it was on those terms that Lord Curzon based the decision to omit Mr. Martin's claim from the ultimatum addressed to the Soviet Government on 2nd May, 1923, which succeeded in obtaining compensation in two other similar cases, in which the correspondence with the Soviet Government has been duly published as White Papers?

Mr. Butler

The British Agent in Moscow, acting on instructions from His Majesty's Government, approached the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs about Mr. Martin's case on 29th September, 1922. In March, 1923, a reply was received of which the following is the relevant excerptJohn Martin was arrested, as a suspicious foreigner, at a time when intervention in the internal affairs of the R.S.F.S.R. was still being carried on by a number of States. On the whole question of arrests of British subjects in Russia, as well as of Russian citizens in England before the signature of the Anglo-Russian Trade Agreement, I think it necessary to add that to exhume such ancient affairs and invite correspondence about them is, at the present time, both useless and little calculated to lead to the strengthening of good relations between the two countries.