HC Deb 23 February 1953 vol 511 cc1718-9
32. Mr. F. M. Bennett

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what payments were due from the Italian Government to Her Majesty's Government in respect of the Anglo-Italian Agreement of 20th March, 1950, about the transfer to Italy of the provisional administration of Somalia; and what sums have been received.

Mr. Nutting

Two payments are due, one of a net sum of nearly £623,000 which represents (in the form of East African currency redeemed in Somalia) an appropriate return for the waiving of certain claims by Her Majesty's Government. The second is of some £158,000. the value of certain supplies and services which were provided to the Italian Armed Forces in connection with the hand-over, and for which receipts or acknowledgements are held. No payment has yet been received on either account.

Mr. Bennett

Does not my hon. Friend agree that this is a rather unsatisfactory state of affairs, and may I ask him what steps the Government are taking or considering to extract these overdue debts from the Italian Government?

Mr. Nutting

Representations have been made to the Italian Government at intervals since the ratification of the Trusteeship Agreement regarding Somaliland, the latest approach from us being on the 9th of February this year. Our concern over the delay has been urgently represented to the Italian Government.