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British Citizens (Russian Wives)

Volume 411: debated on Tuesday 29 May 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that Sergeant Smith, of Tottenham, Reference K 7167/2648/238, whilst serving in a British Army unit in Moscow in 1942 married Eugenia Aleksandrovna Orlova, a Soviet citizen, and since 1943, when he returned to England, has been endeavouring to obtain permission for his wife and child to join him in England or for permission to join them in Moscow; and will he ask the Soviet Union to co-operate in finding a solution to this difficulty.

I was aware that Sergeant Smith was anxious that his wife and child should be allowed to leave the Soviet Union, and I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne) on 6th December, from which it will be seen that, not only have all possible steps been taken by His Majesty's Ambassador in Moscow to assist in such cases, but that my right hon. Friend raised the question himself when he was in Moscow at the end of 1943. The Soviet authorities have, unfortunately, been unable to give a favourable decision. Now that hostilities in Europe have ceased. His Majesty's Chargé ďAffaires in Moscow has again taken the matter up with the Soviet Government, asking that the wives and children concerned shall be allowed to leave Russia, either after release from their Soviet citizenship or on a Soviet passport. It is still too early for any reply to have been received to these representations. I did not know that Sergeant Smith had applied for permission to join his family in Moscow. As I understand that he is a serving soldier, he would, I think, have addressed his application in the first instance to the appropriate military authorities.