HC Deb 04 May 1970 vol 801 cc1-3
1 Edward M. Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress he has now made in negotiating compensation for British assets seized in Indonesia, Tanzania and Burma, respectively

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Maurice Foley)

As regards Indonesia, I have nothing to add to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary on 6th April.

Compensation terms have been satisfactorily agreed in the majority of the company claims lodged with the Tanzanian Government, and we hope for a similar outcome in the outstanding cases.

The Burmese Government have assured us of their willingness in principle to compensate, though they cannot at present proceed to negotiations.—[Vol. 799, c. 5–6]

Mr. Taylor

Would the Minister agree that it is rather a long time since Indonesia and Burma seized British assets, and, in view of the very high level of taxation in Britain today, is it not a bit pointless for the Government to give aid to countries like Indonesia when they have not settled for these assets which they have seized?

Mr. Foley

No, Sir. In the case of Indonesia a number of companies' claims have been settled, and the rest are in the process of negotiation. We would like to see this hastened. It is primarily a matter for the firms concerned. We have offered the facilities of the Government. and they are aware of this.

Mr. Evelyn King

Has the Minister read the Land Acquisition Act recently passed in Zambia, and is he aware that this attitude towards the confiscation of European land is clearly tyrannical? Will he take action about it?

Mr. Foley

The question of Zambia is a different matter. If the hon. Gentleman likes to put down a Question he will get an answer.

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