Oral Answers to Questions — Russia and Poland

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th January 1945.

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Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich 12:00 am, 17th January 1945

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will publish as a White Paper the discussions carried on by the Strang Mission to Moscow in 1939.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

Will not the Foreign Secretary reconsider his decision? Does he not think that the publication of this matter will enable people in this country to understand much more fully the position in Poland to-day?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

I can hardly imagine a less helpful contribution than to raise again all the arguments about why agreement was not reached in 1939, at this moment when our Armies are jointly fighting the common enemy.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any reply has yet been received from the Soviet Government to the application of U.N.R.R.A. for permission to send relief to Poland.

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

I understand that negotiations about the transit of U.N.R.R.A. supplies to liberated Poland through Soviet territories are now proceeding between U.N.R.R.A. and the Soviet authorities.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Can the right hon. Gentleman give any idea of when these supplies will reach Poland? Poland has been more devastated than any other country in Europe.

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

I agree as regards the desirability, and negotiations have now begun, as I say. I regret I cannot say how long they will take.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Will the right hon. Gentleman help the case by making representations to the Soviet Government?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

I think this is a matter between U.N.R.R.A. and the Soviet Government, rather than a matter for myself, but I will consider what my hon. and gallant Friend says.

Miss Rathbone:

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether permission has yet been given by the U.S.S.R. for a delegation from U.N.R.R.A. apart from the provision of supplies?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

I think that is exactly the point now being discussed.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to an article in the "Soviet War News" of 8th January, issued by the Soviet Embassy in London, referring to the Polish Government in London as a flunkey of Hitlerite Germany; and whether he will represent to the Government of Soviet Russia that the publication of libellous statements regarding a Government which is recognised as the lawful Government of Poland by Britain and the U.S.A. does not contribute to good feeling among Allies.

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

The answer to the first part of the Question is, "Yes, Sir." His Majesty's Government must express their regret at the publication of such insinuations against an Allied Government which they recognise.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Does not my right hon. Friend think it time that this sort of statement should be stopped, as the Polish Government have a cleaner record than the Government of any other country in Europe?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

I rather thought that the House would feel that what I said was about right.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

Could the right hon. Gentleman say whether any of the numerous Polish newspapers published in London has ever contained a word in mild rebuke of the Soviet Union?