HC Deb 31 October 1945 vol 415 cc404-5
17. Mr. Walter Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will ensure that in reference to claims for war damage in the Far East the claims of other Allied Governments are not given preference; that British claimants have proper access to all sources of Government information that may assist them in making their claims; and that where goods formerly the property of British nationals are found to be in Japanese possession, the claimants will not be prevented from recovering them, or from recovering their equivalent value if they have been taken over and disposed of by His Majesty's Government or Allied Governments.

Mr. Bevin

The question of claims against the Japanese Government for compensation for war damage in the Far East is at present under consideration, and it is hoped that some inter-Allied machinery will shortly be set up for the purpose. The hon. Member may rest assured that His Majesty's Government will press for a settlement of all claims on an equitable basis. We will give every assistance to British claimants in prosecuting their inquiries and making their claims.

Mr. Fletcher

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is really more a case of goods found in Japan being removed by Allies, particularly the United States, and will he impress on the United States Government that they should keep some form of tally so that claims can be authenticated later?

Mr. Bevin

I will follow that up.