53. Dr. Russell Thomas
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the fact that he has agreed to the continued payment by an insurance company of an annuity of £600 to Marshal Pétain; in what form, and how, this reaches occupied France in view of the blockade of France?
§ Sir K. Wood
The annuity has been paid by the insurance company to Messrs. Morgan Grenfell in London, who, by arrangement with His Majesty's Government, have credited the sterling sum to a 1387 suspense account which is blocked in the name of Messrs. Morgans of Paris. Messrs. Morgans of Paris have undertaken to pay the instalments to Marshal Pétain in francs.
Whatever happens to this payment, will the right hon. Gentleman consider the proposition that it tends to irritate the public temper, to lower the prestige of the Government and to open up unnecessarily avenues of suspicion at a time when national placidity in these respects is essential?