97. Mr. T. WILSON
asked the President of the Board of Trade the amount of enemy money there is in the hands of the Enemy Debtors' Committee and the Public Trustee; how much has been paid to creditor firms in this country and upon what basis has it been paid; and whether, in view of the fact that firms in this country are being financially handicapped owing to the non-payment of enemy debts, he will order the payment of a percentage of the money now held by either or both of the above authorities?
The money received by the Public Trustee under the Trading With the Enemy legislation amounts to about £9,657,000. Distributions have been made under Orders of Court amongst British, creditors of enemies to a total amount of £265,000. The Orders provide for the payment of the creditors in full or rateably so far as the assets of each enemy debtor will permit. The Enemy Debts Committee have no power to receive money due to enemies. I am not as at present advised prepared to recommend the making of such an Order as is suggested in the last part of the question. The Enemy Debts Committee, are however, now considering what arrangements should be adopted at the termination of the War or otherwise for the liquidation of transactions between British and enemy persons which were uncompleted at the outbreak of war.