George Barnes was a minister without portfolio in the
Cabinet. This meant he was a minister but he did not run a department like
trade, education, etc.
He was a Labour politician and a trade unionist. This
meant he was a Socialist - not quite the same as a Communist but agreeing
with some of the ideas of Communism. Labour politicians were usually more
sympathetic towards Communism than Conservatives like Churchill or Bonar Law.
The Bolshevik government was based on Soviets, or Workers
Councils. In 1924 Russia was renamed the USSR or Soviet Union.
Just before this extract, the Cabinet was discussing
the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. George Barnes felt that
Britain had done everything it could for the people of these states.