Lithuania.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 16th February 1922.

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

27.

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the Genoa Conference, to which both Russia and Poland are coming, His Majesty's Government will now recognise the Lithuanian Republic de jure, so that they too may attend at Genoa, and not leave Lithuanian interests in the hands of Russia and Poland; and, if not, whether the non-recognition of Lithuania is due to any representations that have been made from Paris?

Photo of Mr Cecil Harmsworth Mr Cecil Harmsworth , Luton

The application of Lithuania for an invitation to the Genoa Conference has been granted. The de jure recognition of the new States that have resulted from the War is a decision that has, as a rule, been taken by the Great Powers in combination at a meeting of the Supreme Council; and it is presumed that the same procedure, which has the merit of producing uniform action, will be followed in the present case.

Photo of Lord Robert Cecil Lord Robert Cecil , Hitchin

Is it not a fact that Finland was recogised de jure by some of the Powers long before it was recognised by some of the other Powers? There has been no uniformity in the Practice. May I ask, further, whether, in view of the peculiar circumstances of Lithuania, the Government will not consider the advisability of recognising that State de jure immediately?

Photo of Mr Cecil Harmsworth Mr Cecil Harmsworth , Luton

The Noble Lord knows what are the particular difficulties; but the matter is always under the consideration of the Government.

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

Then what are the particular difficulties attached to the de jure recognition of Lithuania? Is it not fear of the Peace of Paris which restrains us?

Sir J. D. REES:

What advantage accrues to this country by recognising Lithuania?

Photo of Mr Cecil Harmsworth Mr Cecil Harmsworth , Luton

If the hon. Gentleman will give me an opportunity of debating it I will tell him.