19 MAY 1923, Page 2

The Russian reply to the British Note, or ultimatum, of

last week was published in the papers of Tuesday. It is a circuitous document. Most of the points at issue are dealt with, as usual, obliquely and with no finality. The Soviet Government expresses surprise at the tone of the British Note. Of course ! It explains this tone by imagining that it is the result of the general European situation. That, we need hardly say, is not the explanation. The only motive of Lord Curzon's language was just indignation at the manner in which the Russian Government has stirred up hostility to Great Britain all over the East, has seized and imprisoned British subjects for no satisfactory reason, and has financed revolutionaries in this country. The Russian Government makes countercharges to the effect that Russian authority has been ignored in the questions of the Dardanelles, Eastern Galicia and Bessarabia. As regards Russian propaganda in the East, and notably in India, the Soviet Government says that this is not necessarily pro-British—that it is quite legitimate for Russia to maintain " friendly relations " with Oriental peoples. Further, it is asserted that. Lord Curzon has based his charges on false documents. The Soviet Government then points out, as it has often done before, that it is not identical with the Third International.