HC Deb 08 March 1923 vol 161 cc710-1
85. Mr. MOREL

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Inter-Allied Conference, held at. Paris from the 24th to the 29th January, 1921, fixed the reparations bill payable by Germany, in addition to the restitutions under Article 238 of the Treaty of Versailles, and all other obligations under the Treaty, at £11,300,000,000, the payments to cover a period of 42 years as from the 1st May, 1921, payable in 'two annuities of two milliards of gold marks (i.e., of £100,000,000, three of three milliards of gold marks (i.e., of, £150,000,000), three of four milliards of gold marks (i.e., of £200,000,000), three of five milliards of gold marks (i.e:, of £250,000,000), and 31 of six milliards of gold marks (i.e., of £300,000,000); and whether this Inter-Allied decision was communicated to the German delegation at. the Conference in a Note, dated Paris, 29th January, 1921, signed by the representatives of Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, and Japan?


I am sending the hon. Member a summary of the contents of the Agreement which was given yesterday in answer to a question by the hon. and gallant. Member for Kincardine and West Aberdeen. The fixed annuities are correctly stated in the question, but the figure of £11,300,000,000 is simply the sum of these fixed annuities over 42 years. This is not the ordinary method of summarising the effect of reparation proposals, and it is quite misleading to compare the figure so reached with other schemes where the present value is taken. The present value of the scheme referred to was on the 5 per cent. tables about £4,100,000,000 only. In addition, there was a variable annuity equal to 12 per cent. of the value of German exports. The Note to the President of the German Delegation was signed by M. Briand; the Agreement, which was an annexe to the Note, was signed by the representatives of the Powers mentioned.


is it not a fact that the total of these annuities did amount to £11,000,000,000, although they were spread over 40 years? Did not all the newspapers of the time assert that £11,000,000,000 had been asked of Germany?


What I have stated is correct what the papers said I do not know.


What amount of public money has been spent, upon conferences or otherwise, in demanding sums now recognised to be quite out of the question?


I must have notice of that question.

88. Brigadier-General COLVIN

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in the event of further reparations being recovered from Germany, the sum of £5,000,000 set aside for the purpose of compensation for personal injuries and loss will be increased; and, if so, whether the claims of those persons who have already received some compensation will be reconsidered?


The sum of £5,000,000 was fixed as a final settlement at a time when expectations as to the reparations to be received from, Germany were much higher than they are now, and I fear that I can hold out no prospect of this sum being increased.