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Russia (Mrs Stan Harding)

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 14 June 1922

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what further action has been taken by the Secretary of State with regard to the wrongful imprisonment of Mrs. Stan Harding by the Russian Soviet Government since the note verbale of 4th January, 1922, from the British Agent to the Assistant Commissary for Russian Foreign Affairs, stating that His Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs could not accept the reply of the Soviet Government in justification of the incident or of the refusal of the Soviet Government to grant compensation to Mrs. Stan Harding, as demanded by the British Secretary of State; and whether it is proposed to continue to negotiate trade and other agreements with the Russian Soviet Government until the redress demanded by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for this outrage on a British citizen who was given a safe conduct by the Russian Soviet Government has been obtained?

Since the note of the 4th of January, the correspondence on this matter has been published in a White Paper. For the rest I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Prime Minister to his question of the 29th May.

Is it not a very unusual procedure for His Majesty's Government, when demanding reparation for a gross outrage to a British subject, to inform the reign Government that if reparation be not made, all that will be done by His Majesty's Government is that information will be given to the Press?

I do not know about that, but the matter is under the immediate and constant attention of the Government, and we hope still to obtain redress.