HC Deb 23 October 1967 vol 751 cc1350-1
53. Sir W. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is now the position concerning the settlement with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of the Baltic creditors' claims and the possibility of renewing a Stock Exchange quotation.

Mr. William Rodgers

Exchanges are still continuing with the Soviet Authorities about the formulation of the Agreement on post-1939 financial and property claims and counter-claims. Stock Exchange dealings in Baltic bonds were resumed on 2nd October.

Sir W. Teeling

While fully realising that that has happened since I put down the Question, may I ask whether the hon. Gentleman can give us some indication of how long it will take before this matter is finally settled, and whether it will require Parliamentary procedure, and discussion in the House, and also whether we have now paid to the Soviet Republics all the sums which they claimed so that there is nothing more to go?

Mr. William Rodgers

I do not think I should be tempted into being dogmatic about the date by which an agreement may be reached because if I were to be dogmatic I might possibly mislead the House, which I would not wish to do, but we certainly hope for faster progress. It is the case that legislation would be required before the process of distribution took place. We are as anxious as the hon. Gentleman is about this and will move as fast as we possibly can.

Mr. Blaker

Have the Government paid over to the Soviet Union the sum which was agreed they would pay at the time of Mr. Kosygin's visit here in Februtary, or is that still outstanding?

Mr. Rodgers

This is one of the matters which is still left to be finally settled.