HC Deb 06 July 1949 vol 466 cc2126-7
10. Mr. Grimston

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress is being made with the settlement of claims of Indian Army officers stationed in Burma at the time of the Japanese invasion.

Mr. Bevin

I presume that the hon. Member's Question refers to British officers of the Indian Army seconded for service with the Burmese Armed Forces. I would refer the hon. Member to the announcement made in the House by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade on 27th June, 1949, on the extension of the Far Eastern Private Chattels Scheme. The claims of United Kingdom domiciled British subjects who served with the Burmese Armed Forces during the war are eligible for consideration under this extended scheme.

Mr. Grimston

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this Question refers to the cases of Indian Army officers; that they have already submitted claims to the Burma Government, the Claims Commission, the Board of Trade and the Commonwealth Relations Office, and that, the matter has now been referred to his Department? Many of them lost everything at the time of the Japanese invasion. In view of the hardship caused by this delay, and the fact that the claims of British Army officers have been settled, will the right hon. Gentleman do all he can to expedite the settlement of these claims?

Mr. Bevin

I will try to do all I can, but the scheme to which I have referred has to be operated.