HC Deb 10 September 1941 vol 374 c158
34. Mr. Wedgwood

asked the Secretary of State for War whether concessions of land and minerals in Ethiopia to foreigners can be prevented pending the restoration of that country's independence; and whether such concessions made by the late Italian Government are now invalidated?

The Financial Secretary to the War Office (Mr. Sandys)

No concessions of land or minerals have been or will be given in Ethiopia by the British military authorities. Concessions granted by the Italian Government remain technically valid in law unless and until terminated by an act of the Ethiopian State.

Mr. Wedgwood

The hon. Member says that no leases are granted by the British military authorities. Can leases be granted by the Ethiopian Government with the permission of the British military authorities?

Mr. Sandys

It is not the wish of His Majesty's Government that such concessions should be granted. It is shortly intended to set up a joint Ethiopian-British Commission of Control of Enemy Property. The Commission will have to deal with this and other questions.

Mr. Mander

Do I understand that the Ethiopian Government are now free to terminate these leases to Italians?

Mr. Sandys

I should require notice of that Question.