HC Deb 16 February 1948 vol 447 cc810-1
17. Mr. John Foster

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what Jewish property seized by the Nazi Government has been restored in the British zone in Germany to German Jews or their heirs in the years 1946 and 1947, respectively.

The Minister of State (Mr. McNeil)

None of this property has, so far, been restored in the British zone, but the preliminaries necessary for the consideration of claims and for the restitution of property are now well advanced.

Mr. Foster

Does the Minister realise this is an act of elementary justice which should at least have been begun in the last two and a half years, since the end of the war, and that there was already draft legislation in June, 1945?

Mr. McNeil

The hon. Gentleman is making a bad mistake if he assumes we have done no work. As I have already said, the preliminaries are well advanced. We have already invited claims and have received many thousands, and we took immediate steps to block such property as might be identifiable.