Mr. T. WILSON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that £9,657,000 owing to enemy creditors is now in the hands of the Government, he will, providing a British firm that has money owing to it by a debtor in an enemy country in which the British firm has a creditor proves that the firm is handicapped financially owing to the non-payment of the enemy debts, pay to such a firm the whole or part of such debt?
As I stated in my reply to my hon. Friend on the 21st February, the Board of Trade are not prepared, as at present advised, to order the payment of debts due to British firms by enemies out of the moneys received by the Public Trustee under the trading with the enemy legislation. It is, however, as my hon. Friend is doubtless aware, open to the creditors of an enemy in respect of whom money has been paid to the Public Trustee under the Trading With the Enemy Acts to apply to the Court for an order for the payment, out of the money so held, of the whole or any part of the debt due by that enemy. The Foreign Trade Debts Committee are also prepared to consider applications by exporting firms 2171W under the scheme of the 3rd November, 1914, for advances in respect of debts outstanding abroad.