HC Deb 18 February 1948 vol 447 c1149
35. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what have been the results since 1st December of his circular to 500 British subjects in Shanghai who had not paid back sums required for their upkeep whilst in Japanese concentration camps during the war; and what further steps he has taken, or is about to take, to collect these outstanding sums.

Mr. Bevin

I regret that the information asked for is not available. As regards the second part of the Question, while I hope that those who have not yet done so will discharge the obligations they assumed, as my hon. Friend, the Under-Secretary, informed the hon. Member on 15th December, there is no intention of pressing where this would cause hardship.

Mr. Teeling

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that those obligations were assumed when, in many cases, the people were in prison? Would it not be a far better thing if this could be put down to reparations from Japan? Could it be made clear to these people that they will not be pressed if they have not got the money?

Mr. Bevin

I shall not press the matter if there is hardship, but I understand that some people have already been paid compensation, and, if that is so, I think they ought to meet their obligations.

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