HC Deb 24 January 1940 vol 356 cc627-9

Preamble agreed to.

Bill reported, without Amendment.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

4.36 p.m.

Mr. Boothby

Before we finally part with the Bill I would ask my right hon. and gallant Friend to give the House one assurance. He has promised to take into account in drafting the Order the views that were expressed in the Debate yesterday by hon. Members on all sides of the House; and I am sure he will bear in mind that there has been, especially in certain quarters above the Gangway on the Opposition side, some criticism of the payments to be made to the bondholders, for which I think there is some justification. There has on the other hand been no criticism whatever of meeting the purely cash claims, which come into a different category; and, indeed, the view has been taken, and expressed by several hon. Members on both sides of the House, that these cash claims should be met in full. What I should like to ask my right hon. and gallant Friend is that, subject to consideration of the points put forward in the Debate yesterday, the Treasury Order will be presented to the House as soon as possible after the passage of the Bill; and that he will give an assurance that he will do everything in his power to expedite the payments that may then be made, in view of the fact that many of the claimants are hard pressed financially, and have already had to wait for a very long time. I realise that there may have to be some delay, but an assurance that it will be as short as possible would, I think, be very acceptable.

4.38 p.m.

Captain Crookshank

Yes, it is certainly not our intention to delay matters unduly. This has been a long and complicated business, and the fact still remains that the claims which have been registered will necessarily call for careful investigation, but my hon. Friend may be assured that no delay that we can possibly avoid will be allowed to occur.

4.39 P.m.

Major Procter

I should like to know whether the right hon. and gallant Gentleman has come to any conclusion as to the interpretation of the Clause which I mentioned yesterday, when he said that he would consult his legal advisers. The reason I ask is that once this Bill is passed we can only rely upon the Order and the White Paper. I shall be pleased to know if he has come to any conclusion.

Question, "That the Bill be now read the Third time," put, and agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.