HC Deb 17 March 1919 vol 113 cc1699-701



asked the President of the Board of Trade whether a full and clear interpretation of the intention of His Majesty's Government in relation to the outflow of British exports to Allied countries, as a charge against the possible indemnities such countries may receive, can be issued for the information of Members of the House and the public?


I have nothing to add to the statement made to the House by the Minister of Reconstruction on Monday last.

52. Lieutenant-Colonel CLAUDE LOWTHER

asked the Prime Minister whether he will publish, and circulate among Members of the House, a copy of the Report of the Committee over which Mr. Hughes presided, and appointed by the British Government to inquire into the financial wealth of Germany, both present and potential, with a view to deciding what proportion of the Allies' war expenditure it would be just and reasonable to exact from her?

Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)

The Committee referred to was appointed to advise the Cabinet. It is therefore confidential, and it is not proposed to publish it.

Lieutenant-Colonel GUINNESS

Is the Report withheld because it is of too robust a character, in view of the present opinions of the Government?


The hon. Member must be aware that Reports specially asked for by the War Cabinet are not intended for publication, but only for the use of the Government.

Lieutenant-Colonel LOWTHER

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that the full bill will be presented at the Peace Conference, and if it is decided that only a small amount can be exacted from Germany at the present moment will it be considered to be only a sum on account?


I can give no such promise. It never has been and is not the policy of the Government to demand more than, in their opinion, can be got out of the enemy.

Lieutenant-Colonel LOWTHER

I give notice, in view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, that I will raise the question of indemnities on the Motion for Adjournment to-night.