HC Deb 28 March 1946 vol 421 cc585-6
The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Ede)

With the permission of the House, I have a statement to make about the Channel Islands.

The Lieutenant-Governors of Jersey and Guernsey, together with the bailiffs and representatives of the two Islands, attended a conference held at the Home Office this morning to discuss the arrangements for meeting the financial indebtedness of the Islands arising out of the German occupation and for meeting the expenditure to be incurred on the economic reconstruction of the Islands on an austerity basis.

For this purpose the Islands have to face expenditure of the order, in the case of Jersey, of somewhat more than £7½ million and, in the case of Guernsey, of slightly under £6 million. His Majesty's Government have thought it right, that any financial assistance to be afforded by the Exchequer to the Islands should be calculated on a basis proportionate to the respective expenditure of the two Islands, and have accordingly offered to the States of jersey a capital sum of £4,200,000, and to the States of Guernsey a capital sum of £3,300,000, to be used for the purpose of liquidating part of the indebtedness of the Islands. The balance of the expenditure required for the purpose of reconstruction will be borrowed by the States.

An official communication will be sent in due course by His Majesty's Government to the Islands through the usual constitutional channels.

Mr. Lipson

Is the settlement which the Home Secretary has just announced acceptable to the representatives of Jersey and Guernsey, and has it been proposed that the British Government should lend the balance of the money, and if so at what rate of interest?

Mr. Ede

With regard to the first part of the supplementary question, I saw the representatives of the Islands this morning, and I. think the arrangement was, generally speaking, acceptable to them. With regard to the second part of the supplementary question, it is a matter for the Islands themselves how they deal with the balance outside the sums I have mentioned.

Mr. Walter Fletcher

Do those sums include compensation to individuals for loss due to enemy occupation?

Mr. Ede

This has nothing to do with reparations and things of that nature.