Exchange of Prisoners.

Oral Answers to Questions — Russia. – in the House of Commons on 18th March 1920.

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Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

20.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether an International Commission in Berlin has been established in accordance with Article 6 of the agreement between the British Government and the Soviet Government of Russia for the exchange of prisoners; and, if not, what is preventing its establishment?

Photo of Mr Hamar Greenwood Mr Hamar Greenwood , Sunderland

There is no Commission at present sitting in Berlin for this purpose; the Inter-Allied Commission, which was suppressed in April last, was succeeded by an Inter-National Commission, but as this latter was never recognised by the Berlin Government it was abolished in February, I understand that the German Government has handed over to the International Red Cross the whole question of Russian prisoners in Germany.

Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

22.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how far the agreement between the British Government and the Russian Soviet Government for the exchange of prisoners has already been carried out; whether the Russian obligation under Article 7, for the repatriation of British prisoners, and the British obligation under Articles 1, 2, 3, and 5 have been completely discharged; and, if not, how many prisoners in each case are still detained?

Photo of Mr Hamar Greenwood Mr Hamar Greenwood , Sunderland

The answer to the first and second parts of the hon. Member's question is that some four hundred British prisoners of war and civilians have already crossed the Russo Finnish frontier and are at present in quarantine in Finland. Two ships are at present being employed for the transport of Russian prisoners of war from Denmark and the United Kingdom, and His Majesty's Government are endeavouring to provide such further facilities as may be asked for under Paragraph 2 of Article 5. As regards the third part of the question, I regret that I am not in a position to give any figures.

I would, however, like to add that the representative of the Soviet Government who signed the Agreement in question has expressed great satisfaction with the arrangements made for repatriating the Russians from Denmark.

Photo of Colonel Charles Yate Colonel Charles Yate , Melton

Have any steps been taken to make the Russian Soviet Government pay for the ruin they have brought on these people?

Photo of Mr Hamar Greenwood Mr Hamar Greenwood , Sunderland

I must ask for notice of that question.