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Volume 155: debated on Thursday 15 June 1922

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Army Formations


asked the Prime Minister whether there has been any diminution of the formations in Western Russia, and whether there has been any reduction of the effective strength of those formations since the pact of peace at the Genoa Conference?

The Russian Delegation at Genoa have hardly returned to Moscow yet.

Russo-German Agreement


asked the Prime Minister whether at Genoa, before the Treaty of Rapallo between Russia and Germany, Dr. Rathenau made three attempts to arrange a private meeting with him; and can he state if any meeting was held before Dr. Rathenau and the Russian delegates signed the Rapallo Treaty?

The Genoa Conference opened on Monday, 10th April. The Rapallo Treaty was signed on Easter Day, 16th April. I saw Dr. Rathenau for a few minutes early in the week, and in reply to two messages through one of my Private Secretaries I said that I would arrange a meeting with him and the German Chancellor as soon as the first strain of Conference work was over. It was also made quite plain that no questions affecting Germany's special interests would be discussed in the absence of German representatives. I actually tried to arrange a meeting with the Chancellor and Dr. Rathenau on Easter Day, but Dr. Rathenau's absence at Rapallo made this impossible.

Did the right hon. Gentleman receive any information showing that the agreement between Russia and Germany was made prior to Genoa, and that the signing at Rapallo was only the visible sign of the agreement being concluded?

I have had some information that negotiations had been conducted in Berlin, and that only the final stages were concluded at Rapallo.

Claim Against Allied Powers


asked the Prime Minister whether at the Genoa Conference on the Public Debt Question the Russian Delegates replied to the proposals with a claim for damage caused to the Russian State and its nationals in the series of attacks made or supported by the Allied Powers on the Revolutionary Government, and that after deduction of all pre-War and War obligations of the Tsarist authorities there remained a sum of about £2,500,000,000 due to Russia; and what answer was made to this claim?

As was stated in answer to a question on the 25th May, a general claim of this nature was made by M. Litvinoff in the course of the experts' discussions at Genoa, but was not entertained by the Powers concerned. The records of the Genoa Conference do not appear to confirm the figure mentioned in the question.