§ 53. Captain BERKELEY
asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that the Courts have interpreted the Treaty of Peace orders as vesting in the Crown, for the purposes therein specified, the separate estates of British-born women who are married to ex-enemy nationals, and in view of the fact that these Orders in Council give His Majesty's Government a discretion at any time to release any property, rights, or interests from the charge so created, he is prepared to issue instructions that all property which shall have come to such British-born women by virtue of marriage settlements or otherwise prior to their marriage shall be exempted from the operation of the orders in question?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Viscount Wolmer)
I have been asked to reply. I am not prepared to issue instructions that all the property of British-born women to 31 which they were entitled prior to their marriage to an ex-enemy subject should be exempted from the charge imposed by the various Treaties of Peace. Applications from British-born women for the release of their property where there are necessitous circumstances are submitted for the consideration of the Committee of which Lord Justice Younger is the chairman.
§ Captain BERKELEY
I beg to give notice that I shall raise this subject on the Adjournment on the first available opportunity.
§ Sir JOHN SIMON
Does not the Treaty confer on the British Government the right and the duty of exempting the property in cases on which the application of the Treaty would produce these shocking consequences?
§ Viscount WOLMER
It has been decided that each case must be dealt with on its merits, and cases are referred to the Committee over which Lord Justice Younger presides.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
May I ask whether British Princesses who married German Princes—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"] Is it any more right to confiscate the property of poor Germans than to confiscate the property of these others?