§ 35. Mr. Teeling
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now in a position to make a statement about the paying out of claims on German debts.
§ Mr. Teeling
Is it not true that the money has already been paid by Germany into this country, and that the President of the Board of Trade has already stated that he has cut down the number of people on the staff of the Custodian of Enemy Property? Can the right hon. Gentleman therefore explain why we are holding up this scheme, which is of some importance from the City point of view, and also from the point of view of the money being used again?
I agree that the sooner it is proceeded with the better, and my right hon. Friend indicated to my hon. Friend in answer to a Question the other day that we hoped shortly to be in a position to go ahead. Between then and now, we have had representations from certain creditor interests asking us to modify the existing scheme, and that request is being looked into. I hope that, when that has been done, we shall be able to take action within a comparatively short time.
I think we shall have to dispose of these representations first before we take any account of making an interim payment, but no further prolonged delay will take place.