HC Deb 22 April 1915 vol 71 cc399-400

asked the Prime Minister whether the Public Trustee has under his control German property to the value of £99,000,000, made up as follows: In public companies, £29,000,000; in partnerships, £16,000,000; in registered property held on behalf of alien enemies, £54,000,000; whether the value of property of British subjects in Germany is very much less that £99,000,000; whether the value of property of British subjects in Germany can be set aside out of the £99,000,000, representing the value of property of alien enemies under the control of the Public Trustee; and whether His Majesty's Government will consider the desirability of confiscating £1,000 a day of the balance of this £99,000,000 for every British officer imprisoned or ill-treated whilst a prisoner of war in Germany?

Mr. W. REA (for the Attorney-General)

The Prime Minister has asked me to answer this question. The total estimated value of enemy property, which has been registered with the Public Trustee under the provisions of the Trading with the Enemy (Amendment) Act, is £84,600,000, the estimated value of enemy property in partnerships being £1,600,000 and not (as stated in the Noble Lord's question) £16,000,000. As stated in that Act, such property has been registered with the Public Trustee, with a view to arrangements to be made at the conclusion of peace, when questions of compensation may well arise. In the meantime, I am glad to be able to assure the Noble Lord that these German assets are, and will remain, available for such disposal as seems proper.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is growing anxiety and irritation in this country—


The hon. Gentleman is answering on behalf of the Attorney-General, and the Noble Lord should wait until the Attorney-General is present to put a further question.