HC Deb 15 November 1920 vol 134 cc1488-9
44. Mr. ACLAND

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether His Majesty's Government has decided to restore to individual Germans, to a certain limited and specified value, property confiscated from them during the War; and, if so, what is the specified value in question?


I have been asked to reply to this question. The property of individual Germans was not confiscated either during the War or by the Treaty of Peace. Under the Treaty, however, such property in this country may be charged to meet German obligations to this country. An arrangement has been under discussion with the German Government and is, I think, on the point of conclusion, for facilitating the restitution of British property in Germany, and meeting certain difficulties in regard to storage and other charges incurred on such property where it was not actually taken over by the German authorities. As part of this arrangement, it is proposed to release from the charge established under the Treaty of Peace household furniture, personal effects and implements of trade in this country belonging to German nationals up to an amount of £500 in addition to the amount of storage and other charges, in cases where the income of the German national does not exceed the equivalent of £400 a year. In addition a Committee has been appointed, consisting of Lord Justice Younger, the hon. and gallant Member for Reigate, and Sir Malcom Macnaghten, to advise upon applications from ex-enemy nationals for the release of their property within certain limits upon the grounds of necessitous circumstances. The limits which have been communicated to the Committee are property to the value of £1,000 in the case of ex-enemy nationals now resident in this country, and to the value of £200 in the case of ex-enemy nationals formerly resident in this country and now resident elsewhere. In addition to capital, income may be released up to a reasonable amount.


Will the details in regard to the proposed arrangement be laid before the House as soon as it is ready?


I shall be glad, if there be any desire, to look into that.