1920: Britain, Italy and Japan Recognized Soviet Russia


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Credit…International Herald Tribune

(BY TELEPHONE) LONDON, SUNDAY. — The Peace Conference is confronted with four important matters for discussion this week, not least the important of which is the Russian question. When M. Millerand, who returned to London this evening, resumes his part in conference to-morrow, he will face an agreement between Great Britain, Italy and Japan to recognise the Soviet Government. As a result of recent reports received from Soviet Russia, and on account of domestic political exigencies in London, Rome and Tokio, the representatives of those three capitals went as far as possible last week towards the inauguration of their new policy, pending the return of M. Millerand.

However, M. Millerand has been kept informed all the time, as all realise that the feeling of the French people and French Government is anything but the same as that of the others in regard to Soviet Russia.

While Britain has been forced to withdraw from Russia with losses, as America did; while Mr. Lloyd George is being continually pressed by the growing strength of the pro-Soviet Labor party; while Italy is faced with the necessity of conciliating her radicals; and while Japan is desirous of exploiting the nearness of Russia, the diplomats of these countries realise that there are millions in Russian bonds held in France which have been made valueless by the Russian Revolution. They realise that they cannot pass over these losses without showing an adequate return for them.

M. Millerand to-morrow will be faced with the following state of affairs:

First: That the Moscow Government, with the collapse of the Archange front and the destruction of the Deniken and Kolchak offensives, is in complete control of practically all of the old Russian Empire, with the exception of the new States.

Second: That evidence before the Peace Conference is continuing to accumulate to show that Lenin, Trotzky and his friends are going through an inevitable process of deradicalisation.

Third: That the developments growing out of the negotiations with regard to trading with the co-operatives have produced signs that freedom of trade with Russia may be the solution of Europe’s economic troubles. Europe can get raw materials from Russia without the hindrance of the unfavorable rate of exchange and tariff costs which is met in trade with the United States.

Mr. O’Grady, who has just returned from his negotiations with Litvinoff, is said to have supplied the missing and final argument in favor of recognition. He is reported to have said that the present Russian Government is now capable of entire internal control. It is even possible, he is reported to have declared that the present Government is prepared to pay all the old Russia debts, with the exception of those contracted in connection with nationalisation schemes.

Formal recognition is further made possible by Mr. O’Grady’s statements that the Soviet Government will not conduct a war of conquest for bolshevism, and that it is anxious to take its place among the nations.

M. Voida Voivod, of Roumania, is arriving to-night. A report which may complicate the Hungarian situation is the discovery of the details of a plot whereby, under the cover of the offer of the Hungarian throne to the. Roumanian Crown Prince, the Hungarian Royalists are attempting to foment an uprising in Transylvania in an effort to detach that province from Roumania and to attach it to Hungary. According to the report, the offer of the Crown was rejected and the plot was nipped in the bud.

— The New York Herald, European Edition, Feb. 23, 1920



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