HC Deb 01 December 1920 vol 135 cc1242-3
61. Captain LOSEBY

asked the Prime Minister if arrangements have yet been made whereby British creditors of German debtors, whose debts were contracted in Germany prior to August, 1914, will be paid in full at the pre-War rate of exchange?


I have been asked to reply. Yes, Sir, this is so in cases where both creditor and debtor were residing in their respective countries on 10th January last, the date of the ratification of the Peace Treaty with Germany, and debts to the amount of some ten millions sterling have been paid already.

62. Captain LOSEBY

asked the Prime Minister if his attention has been called to the fact that sums paid into German banks or German branches of British banks to the credit of British customers shortly after the outbreak of War, which were sequestrated by the German Government, are being now paid over at the post-War rate of exchange, the British debtors thus losing the greater proportion of their capital; and if he will say if any action in the matter is contemplated?


I have been asked to reply. I am not aware of the fact, and I hope that the circumstances of any such case will be at once communicated to the British Clearing Office. Payment of moneys belonging to British nationals sequestrated by the German Government during the War is claimed by the British Clearing Office at pre-War rate of exchange.

Captain LOSEBY

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the position is anomalous, inasmuch as a German debt which was contracted prior to 1914 is paid in full, whereas if that same debt was paid to a German bank or the German branch of a British bank after the outbreak of War it was only paid at the post-War rate of exchange—or something like one-tenth of the debt? If so, will the hon. Gentleman take any steps in the matter?


I am not quite sure I follow the hon. Member's point. I think he is under a misapprehension. Debts which were due from a German to a British national arising either before the War or during the War out of transactions entered into before the War are both payable at pre-War rates.