HC Deb 17 July 1929 vol 230 cc419-20
40. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies with regard to the petition and statement of his case against the Iraqi Government from Hamdi Beg Baban, whether the confiscations of which he complained have been considered; and whether any steps have been taken to get at the root of this affair?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Mr. Montague)

I have been asked to reply. As the history of this claim is somewhat complex and the answer, therefore, necessarily of some length, I propose, with my right hon. and gallant Friend's permission, to circulate it with the OFFICIAL REPORT.


As the matter in question seems to involve a serious injustice, would the hon. Gentleman see me about the matter personally?

Following is the answer:

The claim of Hamdi Beg Baban against the British Government in respect of the occupation of and damage to his property in Bagdad during the late War has been the subject of most careful consideration. Although an offer which was made to him and a joint claimant was considered fair and reasonable and as such was accepted by the other claimant, in view of Hamdi Beg Baban's refusal to accept it, it has now been agreed with him as a special case that his claim shall be submitted to arbitration at Bagdad before a British judge or official, to be nominated by agreement between the parties. The terms of reference have been agreed but the arbitration has so far not taken place, partly because Hamdi Beg, for the purpose of prosecuting his claim, has applied for an advance in excess of the amount originally awarded to him—an application which had to be refused—and partly because he requested that the arbitration should be deferred until after September next.