§ 2.45 p.m.
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any satisfaction has been received from the Japanese Government in respect of pre-war claims of British nationals against Japan; and what is the position relating to those justifiable claims.]
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE)
My Lords, the answer to the first part of the noble Viscount's question is, No. As regards the present position, noble Lords will be aware that on the recent occasion of the visit of the Prime Minister of Japan, the hope was expressed to him that it would 169 be possible soon to reach agreement on the settlement of United Kingdom claims under Article 18 (a) of the Peace Treaty. This matter was specifically referred to in the joint communiqué issued on July 15, and in it Mr. Kishi gave an assurance that the Japan Government would do their best to bring the matter to a conclusion at any early date.
My Lords, I beg to thank the noble Marquess for his Answer. Is he aware that under the Japanese Peace Treaty of 1952, Article 18 (b), the Japanese Government expressed its intention to encourage negotiations in respect of pre-war claims and obligations? During most of the seven years since then, the Japanese Government has done nothing to encourage such negotiations, and even last week the Japanese Prime Minister said at a Press Conference that he could not give a date for a final settlement. Is the noble Marquess aware that many of us hope that the Japanese Government will display a greater sense of urgency in this matter of £1 million sterling than it has done hitherto?
§ THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
My Lords, as the noble Viscount is aware, negotiations are now proceeding in Tokyo, and I think that the noble Viscount himself would agree that it would be inappropriate at this stage for me to make any further comment. But I can assure him that any impetus that can be given, through the result of the Prime Minister's visit here is being given, and he may rest assured that we are making every effort to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion.