HC Deb 08 December 1952 vol 509 cc10-1
10. Mr. Leather

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he wilt approach the International Red Cross, the custodians of funds about to become available under Article 16 of the Japanese Peace Treaty, to give special consideration in the distribution of those funds to ex-Far East prisoners of war who have migrated from one part of the Commonwealth to another, and for whom no other provision has been made whatever.

Mr. Nutting

The method of distribution of Japanese assets which will become available under Article 16 of the Peace Treaty rests with the International Committee of the Red Cross alone. I will, however, bear my hon. Friend's suggestion in mind.

Mr. Leather

I appreciate the difficulties, but does not my hon. Friend agree that, owing to the conditions of the Treaty signed by Her Majesty's Government, these funds now represent the only possible source of compensation for these men? Will he therefore make quite certain that this is brought to the attention of the International Red Cross?

Mr. Nutting

We shall certainly do our best, of course, to do justice all round, but I must draw the attention of my hon. Friend and that of the House to the fact that by the terms of the Treaty itself, in Article 16, the distribution of these assets is one for the International Red Cross, and for them alone.