HC Deb 23 July 1929 vol 230 cc1064-6
22 and 23. Mr. MACPHERSON

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether, seeing that Belgium has agreed to suspend, with effect from 7th June, 1929, the liquidation and retention of German private property not at that date liquidated or taken over by the State, His Majesty's Government is prepared to take similar action;

(2) whether, in view of the recommendations of the Experts Committee that the liquidation of ex-enemy private property seized during the War should be discontinued as soon as the Young plan is ratified, any special instructions have been given to the British clearing office to suspend or expedite the liquidation of ex-enemy property not yet disposed of; and what is the policy of His Majesty's Government in this matter?


Pending the definite acceptance of the Experts' Report by all the Powers concerned, I see no ground for suspending liquidations, which proceed normally, and no special instructions have been issued in this matter. I understand that the Belgian Government have offered to suspend liquidation as from the 7th June, as part of an agreement under which they would receive very substantial compensation on other heads; so that their position is by no means analogous.


asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the total value of German ex-enemy property expropriated under the Treaty of Versailles which ha" been released under the recommendation of the Blanes-burgh Committee, and the number of individual cases in which either the property has been restored or cash compensation has been paid to the ex-enemy owners?


Releases of property have been made to 2,401 German nationals on the recommendation of Lord Blanesburgh's Committee, amounting in value to £2,941,843, of which £857,867 represents the value of property restored in kind and £2,083,976 represents proceeds of sale. The total amount of all releases is £5,229,740.


I beg to give notice that I propose to raise this matter on Friday.

35. Mr. AYLES

asked the President of the Board of Trade the total result of the sale of German private property in Britain in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles; to what extent this has met all British private claims against Germany and German nationals; whether there is any surplus after all claims have been met; and whether, if so, he will see that the example of France and America; in releasing their surpluses to the former owners is followed by this country?


The total proceeds of realisation of German property in this country pursuant to the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles amount to date to £55,500,000. All British private claims against Germany and German nationals which have hitherto been admitted have been paid in full; it is estimated that after all such claims have been met there will be a surplus which will be retained in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty and credited against Germany's reparation obligations. His Majesty's Government have under consideration the recommendations with regard to German property of the Committee of Experts on Reparations, but these recommendations relate Only to such property as has not already been liquidated or disposed of at the date of the acceptance of the report.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say what will be the probable credit balance?


No, Sir. I could not, at this stage, give a firmly accurate figure on that point.

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