HC Deb 23 October 1972 vol 843 cc777-8
23. Mr. Peter Archer

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next intends to visit Indonesia.

Mr. Anthony Royle

My right hon. Friend paid an official visit to Indonesia in July and has no plans at present to pay a further visit.

Mr. Archer

Did the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary seize the opportunity to explain to the Indonesian Government that those of us who would like to see better relations with Indonesia are exercised by the fact that there are probably more political prisoners in Indonesia in proportion to the population than in any other country in the world, that this very much exercises world public opinion and that it would be an earnest of good intentions if the Indonesians at least released the category C prisoners?

Mr. Royle

The question of political detainees must be a matter of Indonesian internal affairs. It would be quite inappropriate for Her Majesty's Government to comment.

32. Mr. Edward Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has now been the outcome of his discussionns with Indonesia about compensation for British assets in that country.

Mr. Anthony Royle

My right hon. Friend told the Indonesian authorities in Djakarta in July of our concern at the delay in settling the compensation claims. The Indonesian Minister of State for Economic, Financial and Industrial Affairs assured our Ambassador in writing on 21st October that compensation would be paid and that his Government would very soon make proposals.

Mr. Taylor

That is splendid news. Can my hon. Friend give us any indication of the sums involved in the British assets which were seized? Are they around £200 million, as had been previously suggested?

Mr. Royle

I cannot tell my hon. Friend the exact sums involved but I shall try to let him have the figures as soon as they are available. The Indonesian Government have given first priority to claims from any firms wishing to take back their estates. All major British claims for the return of estates have now been settled.