§ Mr. REMER
(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been called to the seizure by the Polish authorities of certain works at Radom, near Warsaw, in which a prominent British company has great financial interests; if he is aware that in spite a the fact that the Polish Government have admitted that the seizure of the works was wholly unjustified and illegal, that Government has refused any compensation if he is aware that unless this decision is altered tonight, 16th December, the British company in question must apply for a sequestration of the works involving the closing of the works and also involving serious loss of employment to British workmen, and if he will state what action he proposes to take?
Mr. A. HENDERSON
Yes, Sir. I am aware of the circumstances of this case, and recently I despatched urgent telegraphic instructions to His Majesty's Ambassador at Warsaw, whose reply has since been received and communicated to the British company in question. I have also instructed the Ambassador by despatch to present to the Polish Government the company's claim in respect of the losses incurred by them. There is, however, no likelihood of my receiving any further report by to-night, and the future policy of the British company can only be decided by the company themselves.
§ Mr. REMER
13 the right hon. Gentleman aware that at an interview which I myself had at the Foreign Office with one of his officials, it was promised that prompt action would be taken, but, in spite of the fact that the solicitors to the company gave full details of this case on 18th November, yet on lath December the Foreign Office had done nothing whatever in the matter; and, in these circumstances, will the right hon. Gentleman say if that is the way in which the Foreign Office protects British interests?
The information conveyed in the supplementary question is entirely new as far as I am concerned. Immediately the matter was brought to my notice I acted and acted with promptness. I am afraid that I cannot assist the hon. Member beyond the reply which I have already given to his question.
I am afraid that I cannot add anything. I have sent all the information that has been communicated to me in the despatches to which I have referred in my answer, and I am afraid that I cannot carry the matter beyond that.
§ Mr. REMER
In view of the unsatisfactory reply which we have received and the fact that these works may be closing down to-night, I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, "the failure of the Foreign Office to take steps to protect British interests affected by the seizure of the works at Radom by the Polish authorities."
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I am afraid that that would not come under the rule relating to a definite matter of urgent public importance, especially as the Foreign Office seem to have done all that they could.
I cannot allow the statement to go forth, as far as I am concerned, that the Foreign Office have denied the company a right. That right still exists, and I referred to it in the closing part of my answer. It rests with the company—and I did not wish to say that here—whether or not they will proceed in the courts that are available to them.
§ Mr. REMER
On a point of Order. In the right hon. Gentleman's own letter these words are used:Should the Polish Government insist that the proper remedy, whether of the Radom Company or of the British company, is to take proceedings in the Polish Courts, His Majesty's Government will also have to acquiesce.