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Bessarabia And Northern Bucovina

Volume 409: debated on Wednesday 11 April 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that a large number of Rumanians who have moved from Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina since 1940 into Rumania have recently been ordered to return; and whether he will arrange with the Governments of America and Russia that they be allowed to opt as to whether they wish to return or remain in Rumania.

While I have no responsibility for the agreement I Understand that the Soviet Government acquired Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina by an Agreement with the Rumanian Government of 28th June, 1940. The persons who are now being required to return are those who subsequently left these territories without the agreement of the Soviet authorities. I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT translations of a Soviet Decree of March, 1941, and of a recent Administrative Order by the Rumanian Government which appear to govern the position of the persons concerned.

In the interests of humanity, cannot something be done to allow these people to decide whether they wish to go back to Soviet territory or not?

Surely my hon. and gallant Friend will understand that these arrangements were made, with no responsibility on His Majesty's Government whatever, by the Agreement of 1940, which contains no provision for opting at all. I really do not see on what grounds His Majesty's Government have a locus standi in the matter.

Following are the translations:

Decree Of The Presidency Of The Superior Council Of The Ussr

By which the inhabitants of Bessarabia are restored in the rights of citizens of the U.S.S.R. those of Bucovina are receiving Soviet citizenship.

The official gazette of the Superior U.S.S.R. Council under No. 13 of the 23rd of March, 1941.

  • 1. All persons who on the 7th November. 1917, were citizens of the former Russian Empire and who on 28th June, 194o, were located on Bessarabian territory together with their children, whether or not they were Rumanian citizens before that date are restored in their rights as Soviet citizens as from 28th June, 1940.
  • 2. Persons among those permanently located in Bessarabia, who on the date of 7th November were of Russian citizenship, but who from 28th June, 1940, did not live on Bessarabian territory and who were temporarily beyond the U.S.S.R. frontiers must before 1st May, 1941, register at the Agencies and Consulates of the U.S.S.R. as Soviet citizens, reporting either personally or sending by post a special declaration together with their passport or papers in order to give proof of their identity and of the fact that they were inhabitants of Bessarabia.
  • 3. The present Decree does not apply to persons mentioned in Article 1 and 2 of the present Decree, who up to 28th June, 1940, had acquired any other citizenship, neither to persons who had lost Soviet citizenship by Decree of the Superior Central Executive Council of the Soviet Committee of the People for the Russian Federative Socialist Soviet Republic's Decree dated 15th December, 1921.
  • 4. All persons who on 28th June, 1940, were located on the territory of Northern Bucovina, with the exception of foreigners and of persons who have been evacuated to Rumania after 28th June, 1940, and also excepting the persons who have lost the Soviet citizenship by Decree of the Superior Central Executive Council and of the People Soviet Committee of the Soviet Federative Socialist Russian Republics of 15th December, 1921, are recognized as Russian citizens as from 28th June, 1940.
  • 5. Persons who have returned from Rumania to Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina after 28th June, 1940, according to the Agreement between Soviet and Rumania Authorities acquire the Soviet citizenship, as from the date of their return.
  • The President of the Superior Counsel of the U.S.S.R.


    The Secretary of the Superior Counsel of the U.S.S.R.

    (SS) A. GORCHIN.


    Moscow, Kremlin.

    8th March, 1941.

    Translation Of Rumanian Government Order Concerning The Identification Of Soviet Subjects In Rumania

    The Minister for Justice communicates the following:

    Supreme Presidents and Presidents of Courts of Appeal, Supreme Presidents and Presidents of Law Courts, County Public Prosecutors, Survey Inspectors and Prison Administrators are obliged on their own personal responsibility to communicate at once by telephone, telegraph or by written reports sent by special messengers, all the information necessary for the identification of Soviet subjects in the services they conduct.

    The following are considered as Soviet subjects:

  • (a) Subjects of the former Russian Empire on 17th November, 1917, and their children who, on 28th, June, 1940, lived in Bessarabia and who did not evacuate to Rumania before 22nd June, 1941.
  • (b) All persons living in Northern Bucovina on 28th June, 1940, with the exception of foreign subjects and of those who evacuated before 22nd June, 1941, to Rumania.
  • (c) All those who after 28th June, 1940, and up to 22nd June, 1941, were repatriated from Rumania to Bessarabia or Northern Bucovina.
  • (d) All inhabitants, regardless of origin, who after 22nd June, 1941, came to Rumania from Bessarabia, Northern Bucovina or any other province of the U.S.S.R.
  • The attention of heads of law-courts is drawn to the fact that in drawing up reports, they should examine, within the meaning of the above, the situation with regard to their entire staff, magistrates, clerks, servants, etc., regard- less as to whether they are officially appointed, delegated, or assigned in any other way, or non-budgetary.

    The Minister for Justice requires this information, by 9th March, 1945.