HC Deb 09 October 1946 vol 427 cc174-5
27. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what proposals he has tabled for inclusion in the Draft Peace Treaty with Rumania for the protection of the interests of British insurance companies in that country.

Mr. McNeil

The proposals of my right hon. Friend were set out as Annexe 4B to the Draft Peace Treaty with Rumania. They have since been amended by the Balkan Economic Commission at Paris. I will with permission circulate the amended terms in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Warbey

Can my right hon. Friend say whether it is true, as reported in "The Times" and elsewhere, that the British proposal was that foreign insurance companies should be accorded exactly the same right to remain there in future as they had before the war?

Mr. McNeil

My recollection is that the provisions provided that the British companies should resume their portfolios, and that there was a second clause dealing with the amount of the financial guarantee necessary. There was also a clause relating to the date. Beyond that, there were no other provisions.

Mr. Hogg

Is it not remarkable that this and the two previous Questions have been designed for the diminution of British prestige and prosperity in three different parts of the world?

Following are the amended terms:

"1. The Rumanian Government shall grant every facility to Insurers who are nationals of the United Nations to resume possession of their former portfolios in Rumania.

"2. Should an Insurer, being a national of any of the United Nations wish to resume his professional activities in Rumania, and should the value of guarantee deposits or reserves required for the operation of Insurance concerns in Rumania be found to have decreased as a result of the loss or depreciation of the securities which constituted such deposits or reserves, the Rumanian Government undertakes to accept such securities as still remain (for a period of eighteen months) as fulfilling the legal requirements in respect of deposits and reserves."

A United Kingdom proposal to extend this period to three years was also carried.