HC Deb 29 June 1944 vol 401 cc792-3
43. Major Studholme

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what financial arrangements he has made to cover the supply by His Majesty's Government of military equipment and stores to the Polish Government.

Sir J. Anderson

The Military Supplies Agreement signed to-day between His Majesty's Government and the Polish Government makes a change in the financial arrangements covering the provision of supplies, stores, equipment, material, services and facilities, etc., for the maintenance of the Polish Armed Forces. Since 3rd June, 1940, payment for these military supplies has been provided out of a military credit opened in favour of the Polish Government. Under the new Military Supplies Agreement, these articles will in future be supplied on a lend-lease basis; His Majesty's Government will not claim reimbursement of the cost, and the Polish Government will, if we so request, return to us such of the articles as still remain under their control at the termination of the hostilities in which the Polish Armed Forces are engaged. This arrangement is similar to those already reached with the Greek Government, the Czechoslovak Government and the French Committee of National Liberation in Algiers.

At the same time, we have agreed with the Polish Government to give the new Military Supplies Agreement retroactive effect from 3rd June, 1940, the date on which the Polish military credit was opened. This means that His Majesty's Government have agreed to cancel that part of the indebtedness relating to military supplies and services which would have been provided free of cost to the Polish Government if the Military Supplies Agreement now concluded had been in force on 3rd June, 1940. For their part, the Polish Government have agreed to forgo any claims for compensation which they may have against His Majesty's Government for similar services, facilities, and other material benefits which the Polish Government have provided since that date. I will inform the House of the amount of indebtedness which His Majesty's Government have cancelled as soon as the figure has been agreed with the Polish Government. It will be seen that the arrangements made conform to the principle of avoiding the creation of war debts in respect of military supplies between the Governments united in the common cause.