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Russian Department (Mr H P Smollett)

Volume 389: debated on Wednesday 12 May 1943

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asked the Minister of Information when Mr. H. P. Smollett was appointed director of the Russian Department of the Ministry?

Mr. Smollett has been in charge of Anglo-Soviet relations work in the Ministry since October, 1941, to the great satisfaction of all those concerned with his work.

Can the Minister tell me what the Gentleman's name was before he changed it?

I do not know, but in answer to the hon. and gallant Gentleman's question, he might perhaps give me notice of it. He does not seem to like foreigners, at any rate, poor foreigners.


asked the Minister of Information how long Mr. H. P. Smollett, of the Ministry of Information, has been a British subject; and when did he take up a permanent residence in Great Britain?

Mr. Smollett has been a British subject for 4½ years. He took up permanent residence in Great Britain in the autumn of 1930.

Since this gentleman is a Hungarian by birth and since Hungary and Russia are at war, does the Minister consider that his appointment to the important post of director of the Russian section of his Ministry is calculated to show our good faith in the Russian people?

Yes, Sir. I do not know whether he is a Hungarian or not, but he was selected because of his supreme technical qualifications, and, let me say, he has constant dealings with Russian representatives in London, who are entirely satisfied with his work in every respect.