HC Deb 02 August 1965 vol 717 cc1047-8
22. Mr. S. C. Silkin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when he expects payments of compensation to be made under the Anglo-German Agreement of 9th June, 1964; and what will be the largest and the average payment, respectively.

Mr. Padley

To the first part of this Question, I would refer my hon. and learned Friend to the reply which I gave to a similar question from the hon. Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) on 26th July. On the matter of payments, it is impossible to say at this stage what either the largest or the average payment will be, as the total number of victims is not yet known and therefore individual total entitlements from the available compensation cannot be assessed.

Mr. Silkin

Will my hon. Friend confirm that the extension of time, which I understand has recently been given, will not in any way affect payments to be made to people who are already registered as claimants? Is he aware that such people may well have entered into commitments, expecting payment in the near future, and it could be embarrassing for them to have to honour them if the payments were long delayed?

Mr. Padley

I think I can give that assurance. Between 350 and 400 applicants will receive an interim payment. When I say interim, I mean that it may not be the final sum, because the period for applications has been extended till next March. Certainly we are taking account of all the relevent factors.

Dame Irene Ward

Would the hon. Gentleman say what steps he has taken to make it known, to all quarters of the world where these victims may reside, that the period has been extended? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that until he made this announcement in the House, hon. Members who are very much concerned with this had never received any word that this extension, with which I certainly agree, had been made?

Mr. Padley

There has been the normal Press advertising on this and the Government are certainly doing everything possible in exactly the same way as the previous Government, to bring this to the notice of anyone who may be affected.