HC Deb 11 November 1948 vol 457 cc1715-6
39. Sir W. Wakefield

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he will make representations to the Indian Government as to the long delay in the payment of undisputed claims by the Government of India to those persons who have returned to the United Kingdom, consequent upon the termination of their contracts of service in India, including their right to free passages home; if he is aware of the hardship caused to such persons by having to pay their own passages home; and what steps is he taking to accelerate payments due and to alleviate the hardships caused by the failure to make the payments.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

I assume that the hon. Member has in mind cases of undisputed claims for the refund of passage costs. Except for one case, about which I have recently had correspondence with the hon. Member, I am not aware of any complaints of hardship caused by delay on the part of the Government of India to pay such claims. I will, of course, be glad to look into any similar cases which the hon. Member, or any other hon. Member may bring to my notice.

Sir W. Wakefield

In connection with the case to which the right hon. Gentleman refers, what is to be done to alleviate hardship there?

Mr. Noel-Baker

The Government of India have admitted Mr. Taylor's claim. Certain vouchers are required before legal authority to pay exists, but the High Commissioner, at our request, has asked the Government of India for the authority to pay at once.