To the editor of The Times
Sir, –Among the conditions laid down at the Cannes Conference concerning the invitation of the Government of Soviet Russia to the Conference of Genoa is one (clause 6) by virtue of which this government must abstain from any aggression against its neighboring states.
On January 21, 1921, the Supreme Council recognized the independence of Georgia de jure. Previous to this, on May 7, 1920 the Moscow Government signed a treaty with Georgia whereby they recognized complete Independence and sovereignty of the Georgian Republic and renounced for ever the right of interference in her internal affairs. In spite of this Treaty, the armies of Soviet Russia, without any formal declaration of war or any pretext whatsoever invaded Georgia on February 11-12, 1921.
Thanks to overwhelming superiority, both in number and technical equipment, and to the help of the Angora Government, the Bolsheviks, defeating the Georgian Army, seized Tiflis and towards the end of March, occupied Georgia. The Georgian Government found themselves compelled to leave the territory of the Republic. From this moment, Georgia came under military occupation—a situation analogous to that of Belgium, Serbia and the Northern departments of France during the World War.
The democratic institutions of the State were annulled, the independence of Georgia and the political freedom of the population abolished. Power now is in the hands of the so called “Revolutionary Committee” appointed from Moscow, and composed of the late employees of the Moscow Soviet Government, who entered Georgia in the wake of the Russian armies.
These armies are the sole forces of the “Revolutionary Committee,” governing the country by a regime of merciless terror. This so called “Government” of Soviet Georgia remains absolutely foreign to the Georgian people, being opposed by all political parties of Georgia and all classes of society.
If conditions set forth at the Cannes Conference are not empty words, they must imply Russia’s obligation to withdraw her armies from Georgia and restore the Georgian people their right of self-determination. It should be pointed out here that the very interest of Europe and peace of the world demand the application to Georgia of Clause 6 of the Cannes Conference.
(1) If Europe bears in silence the crying injustice committed against Georgia by the Government of Soviet Russia then this will mean the sanctioning of the right of any great power to attack its neighbours and seize their territory;
(2) While the Moscow armies are in Georgia, that is, on the frontiers of Asia Minor, there will be no peace in the Near East for, possessing Georgia, the Bolsheviks are practically the masters of Angora.
(3) Until the restoration of independence of Georgia and also of the other Transcaucasian Republics, there will be anarchy in Transcaucasia, which will undoubtedly hinder the economic development of this very rich country.
These are the considerations which impel the Georgian people and their representatives abroad to hope that the Great Powers, and in particular the Great Britain, will, in accordance with Clause 6 of the Cannes Conference, demand from the Bolsheviks the withdrawal of their armies from Georgia.
It is apparent that it would be advantageous to the study of the problem in all its aspects that the voice of Georgia should be heard prior to the Conference of Genoa, that is, the voice of her legal Government, elected by the people, and even in exile retaining unbroken connection with, and confidence of, their country.
President of the Georgian National Government