Bolshevist Government (Massacres).

Oral Answers to Questions — Russia. – in the House of Commons on 20th February 1919.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness , Bury St Edmunds

8.

asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information that Russian officers who have been prisoners in Germany are being sent back to Russia, where they are collected in large batches and shot by the Bolsheviks?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

The most recent information received by His Majesty's Government is to the effect that large numbers of Russian officers who have been prisoners of war in Germany have been repatriated to Russia, and that many of those who refused to join the Bolshevik army have been shot by the Bolshevik authorities.

Photo of Mr Samuel Hoare Mr Samuel Hoare , Chelsea

Can the hon. Gentleman circulate the information which he has on the subject before the White Paper?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

The subject of issuing literature relating to Bolshevik government is under the consideration of the Government.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness , Bury St Edmunds

9.

asked whether in the invitation to Russian Governments to attend a Conference at Prinkipo any condition was imposed as to the cessation of massacres?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

The invitation by the Allied Governments to the various Russian groups to attend the Conference at Prinkipo was issued on the condition that there should be a general truce of arms among the parties invited, and that aggressive military action of all kinds should cease.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness , Bury St Edmunds

Does the hon. Gentleman think that military action would cover these quite unconstitutional massacres?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

I should not like to be asked to reply to that. I am inclined to agree with my hon. Friend.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness Lieut-Colonel Walter Guinness , Bury St Edmunds

Will the hon. Gentleman make representations that in future no such proposals should be put forward without expressly providing for cessation of massacres?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

Yes, Sir. I will respectfully convey the suggestion to the right quarters.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

Are we to understand that this unfortunate proposal is now definitely at an end?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

I must have notice of the question.

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

13.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that Phillips Price, formerly correspondant of the "Manchester Guardian," has been editing a Bolshevist newspaper, the "Call," which is spread among British troops in the Murman territory; whether the newspaper has incited them to revolt; and whether full information has been collected in regard to this man with a view to his ultimate trial?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

The answer to the first and second parts of the hon. and gallant Member's question is in the affirmative. Information has been collected in regard to the activities of Mr. Phillips Price, and will be available in the event of his return to this country, and of a decision being taken to take action in the case.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL:

14.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been called to the decree recently published by the Bolshevist Council of the city of Saratoff as to the treatment of women; and if he will take steps to secure wide publicity for this shocking instance of the result of the present revolutionary rule in Russia in order to assist in counteracting the Bolshevist movement in this country.

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

Yes, Sir. There is reason to believe that such a Proclamation was issued in several centres and that an attempt was even made to enforce it. But it has not been established whether the Proclamation was issued by the Bolshevik Council or by an anarchist body.

Sir F. HALL:

Will the hon. Gentleman answer the last part of the question, as to whether publicity is to be given to this terrible state of affairs?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

I have studied the document myself, and am not quite sure whether it is suitable for general publication. I shall be happy to show it to any Members of Parliament who would like to see it.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

If it has not been issued by the Bolshevists, why should it be used by the Government and the Press of the country to run down the Bolshevist government?