HC Deb 21 February 1949 vol 461 cc1598-9
102. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that no compensation for war damage is to be paid to British and Maltese subjects residing in French territories on instructions from the Quai d'Orsay, because the British Government is refusing to pay war damage compensation to French nationals residing in Great Britain; and whether he will take steps to see that such claims are settled.

Mr. McNeil

No, Sir, I am not aware of any such instructions and I think the hon. Member is under a misapprehension. War damage compensation in the United Kingdom, which is based on a system of contributory insurance, has always been payable irrespective of the nationality of the claimant. By the Anglo-French Reciprocal Agreement of 3rd December, 1946, the French Government undertook to grant to British subjects whose property had sustained war damage in France, compensation equal to that afforded to French nationals in respect of similar losses. The French Government have indicated that the question of compensation for war damage to British property in French overseas territories will need a separate agreement. Such an extension of reciprocity entails complex considerations arising from the differing local conditions and legislation applying in the various French and British overseas territories although generally in our Colonies, where there is war damage legislation, no discrimination is made on the grounds of nationality. The problem is a difficult one and is still under consideration by His Majesty's Government.

Mr. Teeling

If I send to the right hon. Gentleman particular cases in Tunis, perhaps he will look into them?

Mr. McNeil

Most certainly.