HC Deb 21 April 1948 vol 449 cc1801-2
30. Mr. Vernon Bartlett

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when the Hong Kong Government expect to make interim or final payments to compensate former British residents for their war losses in the Colony.

Mr. Mayhew

It is hoped that a statement on the subject of war damage compensation will be made at an early date.

Mr. Bartlett

When my hon. Friend refers to "an early date," would he bear in mind that the Colony of Hong Kong is one of the most prosperous in the British Commonwealth at the present time; that most of these people have lost everything they possessed; that because they worked for many years in the Far East they find it very difficult to get into jobs here; and could not something be done to speed up that "early date"?

Mr. Mayhew

Yes, and I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies appreciates that. I will certainly draw his attention to that view.

Mr. Oliver Stanley

Can the hon. Member say what has been holding up this decision?

Mr. Mayhew

I should like notice of that question.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Is not the Under-Secretary aware that similar answers have been given for a very long time; and that there are very many claimants, mostly people in business in a small way, with small claims, who are put to considerable hardship?