London (Jul. 18)
The question of Leon Trotsky’s admission to England may be reconsidered, after the recognition of Russia by Great Britain, if circumstances alter the case. This statement was made today by Home Secretary Clynes, replying to questions in the House of Commons by Colonel Josiah Wedgwood and others. Trotsky’s application for admission to England was based, he said, on his desire to secure medical treatment and arrange for the publication of his biography. Assurances were offered by Trotsky, he declared, that he would make no attempt to interfere with domestic affairs in England, nor would he seek to make himself prominent in any way. No communications on the subject have been received from the Soviet Government, he asserted.
After giving the fullest consideration to the application, the government decided to refuse the request because mischievous people would unquestionably seek to exploit Trotsky’s visit with the consequence of grave embarassment to the government. Pressed to produce the correspondence, Clynes promised to consider the request. Further discussion on the matter was stopped by the speaker. Members of parliament gave notice, however, that further questions would be asked at a later date.
It was expected today that if the matter came to a vote the labor back benchers and the liberals would vote for admission of Trotsky, whereas the government members and some of the conservatives would be opposed.