Russia (Famine Relief).

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

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Photo of Mr Walter Smith Mr Walter Smith , Wellingborough

35.

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the statements recently made by Dr. Nansen as to the conditions obtaining among the Russion people owing to the famine, the Government have given further consideration to this question, with a view to more substantial help being given?

Photo of Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck , Nottingham South

39.

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government will reconsider its refusal to grant a sum of money for the relief of the sufferers from the famine in Russia?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I would refer to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on Thursday last to a question by the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy), to which I can add nothing.

Photo of Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck , Nottingham South

May I ask the Government to reconsider their decision in this matter, and inquire whether really it is consistent either with the honour or the interest of England—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"]

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The Noble Lord is not asking a question.

Captain BENN:

Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been directed to the remarks made by the Archbishop of Canterbury the other day on this subject, and will the Government—[HON. MEMBERS "Order, order!"]

Photo of Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck , Nottingham South

On a point of Order. Might I be informed, Mr. Speaker, why I was not allowed to put my question?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The Noble Lord was not asking a question, but making a statement and an appeal.

Photo of Lord Robert Cecil Lord Robert Cecil , Hitchin

Might I ask my right hon. Friend whether his attention has been called to the report of an interview with Sir Benjamin Robinson, in which he has expressed his opinion and views on the matter, and has the Government any reason to doubt the terrible facts that are there disclosed?

Sir J. D. REES:

May it justly be assumed that the money which the British taxpayer finds now with such difficulty can, without his consent, be diverted to succouring the nationals of another country?

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

Does not the loan by this country of £2,000,000 to our former enemy Austria, where the conditions are not half so serious as in Russia, justify us in making some provision for the starving people of Russia?

Photo of Viscount  Curzon Viscount Curzon , Battersea South

rose—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order!"]

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I am not. quite certain, Mr. Speaker, how many of the questions have been allowed by you, because I do not want to answer questions which have been disallowed. Personally, I have not read the observations of Sir Benjamin Robinson or the Archbishop. With respect to the question just put to me by the right hon. Gentleman, the fact that we are lending money to Austria to prevent the total collapse of a country so important to the economic and financial business of Central and Eastern Europe

Photo of Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck , Nottingham South

Is not Russia equally important? [HON. MEMBERS: "No, No!"]

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

—rather seems to me to impose a limitation upon what we can do elsewhere than be an additional argument for spending more money.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

We cannot now have a debate on this matter.