HC Deb 17 November 1948 vol 458 cc344-5
12. Mr. Thomas Reid

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if any settlement has been made in respect of the compensation claimed for British property nationalised by the Government of Yugoslavia.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Mayhew)

No, Sir.

Mr. Reid

Is it not a fact that the Yugoslav Government have offered a sum less than half of the value of British assets in Yugoslavia?

Mr. Mayhew

I cannot comment on that precisely. I can only say that negotiations are going on, and that we are hopeful of reaching agreement before very long.

Mr. Peter Thorneycroft

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether we permit intervention and complaint by foreign nationals in the case of their property, if they happen to have any, in industries nationalised by a government of similar political persuasion over here?

Mr. Gallacher

If these property owners are having the difficulty I hope they are having, will not the hon. Gentleman ask their more fortunate fellows in this country to give them a share of the very great amount of swag they are getting out of the people of this country?

Mr. Thorneycroft

May I have an answer to my question?

Hon. Members


Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

Is the hon. Gentleman aware from previous answers given in this House that the Government on no occasion have taken any action whatsoever to help British interests abroad and see that their owners receive adequate compensation? Is it to be taken from this latest case that the Government are united behind the Chancellor of the Exchequer in liquidating the British Empire, and, above all, in getting rid of its assets in the quickest way?

Mr. Mayhew

On the contrary, we have most keenly supported British interests in this case. However, I would deplore these attempts to prejudice these negotiations, which are going satisfactorily.