HC Deb 06 December 1944 vol 406 cc505-6
12. Captain Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has yet stopped the Rumanians from handing over to Russia, as part of the armistice terms, British property and machinery in Rumania.

Mr. Eden

I take it that my hon. and gallant Friend is referring to the removal by the Soviet authorities of certain equipment, such as pipes, from the stocks of some of the Rumanian oil companies. I have little to add to what I told the House on Friday. The material in question is the property of Rumanian companies, in which British capital is heavily invested. Discussions are now proceeding in Moscow with a view to ensuring that no equipment is removed except in accordance with the terms of the Armistice and that British interests in the companies are safeguarded.

Captain Duncan

Has not the Foreign Secretary got a commercial counsellor, or somebody with experience in this sort of business, acting on his behalf in Rumania?

Mr. Eden

I can assure my hon. Friend that we have been engaged in this matter extremely fully in the last few weeks and that voluminous correspondence has been exchanged. It is complicated, but I agree that there are certain British rights, and that we have every justification for asking our Soviet Allies to see that they are safeguarded.

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