HC Deb 24 June 1954 vol 529 cc564-5
7. Mr. Teeling

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many registered claimants for the distribution of Roumanian and Hungarian assets in this country will receive less than £1,000.

Mr. Maudling

I regret that it is not possible to give any such estimate.

Mr. Teeling

Does my hon. Friend realise that there must be many people in that category and that they are very keen to know how soon they are to hear more?

Mr. Maudling

Yes, I know, but the registers are not complete and an estimate of the kind asked for cannot be made at the present moment.

8. Mr. Teeling

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the drafting of the Treasury directions on the distribution of the Roumanian and Hungarian assets is now completed; and whether he can state the date of their publication.

Mr. Maudling

The drafting of the Treasury direction on the distribution of the Roumanian assets has now been completed. It will be published as a White Paper as soon as possible. The drafting of the directions with regard to Hungarian and Bulgarian assets has not been completed yet, but my right hon. Friend expects to be in a position to publish them in the course of next month.

Mr. Teeing

Is my hon. Friend able to tell us exactly why the question of the Roumanian assets has taken so long? Further, may I remind him that he said in this House that it would be discussed when it was finally settled, and that as the House will be rising in about five weeks, can we be sure that we shall not have to wait another three months but will be told before the House rises?

Mr. Maudlin

One of the reasons delaying the drafting of these Roumanian directions has been the necessity to study the Roumanian ordinances which are complicated. So far as the date of publication is concerned, I can assure my hon. Friend that the Roumanian directions will be published before the House rises, and I have every hope that the same applies to the Hungarian and Bulgarian.

Mr. Snow

Can the Economic Secretary say to what extent these decisions have been regulated in any way by the need to conclude new trade agreements with those countries?

Mr. Maudling

That is a different matter. This is a question of distribution of assets in the custody of the Custodian in this country. When it comes to trade agreements, it is a question of getting some payment from the countries concerned.