Propaganda.

Oral Answers to Questions — Russia. – in the House of Commons on 26th January 1931.

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Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

13.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in order to enable the House to judge of the identity between the Government in Soviet Russia, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, and the Executive Committee of the Third International in relation to propagandist activities, whether he will state what Members of the Government hold positions in the two latter bodies?

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can tell the House the names of those members of the Soviet Government who are also members of the governing body of the Comintern?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Camberwell Peckham

As the answer is rather long, I will, with the hon. Members' permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

Are the names more or less the same for the two bodies?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Camberwell Peckham

The names are all given in the rather long answer which I am suggesting should be circulated. It would take some time to read. There are certain names no both. The question is a little complicated, and I think it would be better to leave it there. If the hon. Member is not satisfied, he can put down another question.

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

Roughly, what is the percentage of names on both bodies?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Camberwell Peckham

I have only been asked to give the names on both bodies. If the hon. Member wants to know the percentage of names on both, perhaps, having read the answer, he will put down another question.

Following is the answer:

Certain members of the Political Bureau of the Russian Communist Party are members of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union, to which I presume the hon. Members refer in their inquiry respecting the Soviet Government. Other members of the Political Bureau, though not members of the Council of People's Commissars, hold positions in other organs of the Soviet Government. So far as can be ascertained from the latest officially notified appointments, the following members and substitute member of the Political Bureau are either members of the Council of People's Commissars or hold positions in organs of the Soviet Government (other than the Central Executive Committee), as set forth below:

Members of Council of People's Commissars and of the Political Bureau:

M. V. M. Molotov, President of the Council of People's Commissars.

M. V. V. Kuibyshev, Vice-President of the Council of People's Commissars.

M. K. E. Voroshilov, Commissar of War and Marine.

Member of Council of People's Commissars and Substitute Member of Political Bureau:

M. A. I. Mokoyan, Commissar of Supply.

Members of the Political Bureau holding positions other than Posts in the Council of People's Commissars:

M. S. Z. Ruduzutak, Vice-President of the Council of Labour and Defence.

M. I. V. Stalin, Member of the Council of Labour and Defence.

M. G. K. Ordzhonikidze, President of the Supreme Council of National Economy, Member of the Council of Labour and Defence.

As regards the Third International, I understand that Messrs. Molotov and Stalin were till recently included among the Russian members of the Executive Committee, but I am not aware whether they are still members or not.

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

14.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign affairs whether his attention has been called to the instructions recently published in "Izvestia," the official organ of the Soviet Government, of the Comintern to its sections in London, Paris, and other European capitals, requesting them to establish fresh bases among British and French soldiers, sailors, and workers in munition factories, to unmask the British and French General Staffs, and to persuade such soldiers and others that the British and French Governments are engaged in a conspiracy to make war on Russia; and whether he is taking any action in the matter?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Camberwell Peckham

Reports appeared in the Soviet Press in December last outlining certain resolutions adopted by the Executive Committee of the Red International of Trade Unions, commonly called the Profintern. It is probably to these reports that the right hon. Gentleman refers. The matter is being carefully watched.

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

Are the Government going to take any action? Is not this a direct breach of the pledge as far as propaganda is concerned?

Photo of Mr John Mills Mr John Mills , Dartford

Will the hon. Gentleman give special consideration to these non-sensical references that are continually being made by Conservative Members in the House?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

To use an adjective such as the hon. Member has done about another hon. Member's question is quite out of order.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , New Forest and Christchurch

Is it not the custom to give a reply to a courteous question by a member of the Front Opposition Bench?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Camberwell Peckham

I was prepared to reply without the assistance of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman. Had he not risen, I was about to rise myself. We are carefully watching the matter, and, if any action should result, we shall naturally consider whether we on our side should take any action. At present no action has taken place. All we are confronted with are certain verbose and somewhat ridiculous resolutions passed by this body.

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

Has the hon. Gentleman considered whether these resolutions are in accord with the engagements which His Majesty's Government required of the Soviet Government as a condition of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Camberwell Peckham

The question of the relation of the Soviet Government to the Profintern has not so often been raised as that of the Comintern and other organisations within the Soviet Union. I think my right hon. Friend made a reply on the subject of the Profintern some little while ago, but we have only once previously had this point raised in the House in connection with that body. Perhaps I might leave it there for the moment with the assurance that we are watching any possible developments.

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

Will the hon. Gentleman kindly reply to the question which I put? Apart altogether from the resolutions of this body, is not the publication of these resolutions an infringement of the undertaking of the Soviet Government?

Mr. ERNEST WINTERTON:

Are not many of these questions an infringement of the friendly understanding between the two countries?

Photo of Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson , Birmingham Handsworth

How much longer are we going to be stabbed in the back?