§ 52. Mr. Gammans
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the present position regarding the nationalisation of British interests in Burma; what companies have been taken over and scheduled for nationalisation; in how many cases has compensation been paid in full; and how many British interests have objected to the amount of compensation offered.
§ Mr. Jay
The concerns so far taken over or scheduled for nationalisation by the present Burmese Government are the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company and the Rangoon Electric Company. One-third of the concessions granted to the timber companies has also been taken over. All these companies are at present discussing terms of compensation with the Burmese Government.
§ Mr. Gammans
Has the hon. Gentleman any reason to believe that the companies are in the least satisfied either with the amount offered or with the prospect that they will ever get their money; and will he also bear in mind what has been done in regard to British interests in Burma before his Ministry is prepared to sanction any further loans or gifts to Burma?
§ Mr. Walter Fletcher
Is the hon. Gentleman right in saying that this is a matter betwen the Burmese Government and the companies, in view of the fact that, in the Burmese concessions, a scorched earth policy and other policies inimical to the interests of these people were placed in front in the general interest, and is there not a great moral responsibility on the Government?
§ Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre
As the hon. Gentleman said some three months ago that he had made these representations, can he now say what further progress has been made and give any support to the hope which he then held out that fair compensation will be paid?
§ Mr. Oliver Stanley
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the representations have produced any reply or have had any effect?
§ Mr. Driberg
Will my hon. Friend give an assurance that it will not be a condition of any loan to Burma that it should be spent on compensation, rather than on the rehabilitation of the country?