San Remo Conference April 1920

Apart from accepting the mandates for Mesopotamia, Palestine and Syria, the San Remo conference, chaired by the Prime Minister of Italy, agreed the WWI Allies’ policy on Soviet Russia.

Believing that all the British prisoners-of-war held by the Bolsheviks were on their way home, Prime Minister David Lloyd George, supported by Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon, agreed on 25th April to adopt a resolution to restore trade with the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

Little did they know that Captain Brian Horrocks and his compatriots in Irkutsk had been deceived by the Commissars and the train that had arrived under command of Captain Rex Carthew to rescue British citizens, was allowed to collect only the civilian families.

When he heard this news, the War Secretary, Winston Churchill, who did not attend the San Remo conference, lobbied the government to make the safe return of “all British prisoners-of-war captured in Siberia…” the essential condition of any trade negotiations.

IMG_3012Lord Curzon with the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Maurice Hankey, en route to San Remo for the Allies’ Conference in April 1920


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