HC Deb 29 October 1918 vol 110 cc1296-7W

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the effect on persons of British nationality who depend largely for their income on investments of capital in enemy countries or countries invaded by the enemy, by reason of the stoppage of the payments of dividends or interest upon such investments; whether he is aware that enemy subjects in the United Kingdom are permitted to receive periodically the income from investments made in British securities; and whether the Government will take steps to impound the income of the latter class and formulate a scheme under which British subjects may be enabled to receive equality of treatment until a final adjustment can be made?


The effect of the trading with the enemy legislation of the belligerent countries is, of course, to deprive persons resident in one group of belligerent countries from receiving payment of interest on capital invested in the other. The Trading With the Enemy Acts provide machinery for the recovery of money owing by an enemy company in cases where funds are held in this country for the account of the same enemy company, but those Acts do not enable a British subject to attach the private property of an enemy subject resident in the United Kingdom for the purpose of satisfying his claims against other enemy companies or States. The question of the measures to be taken to secure payment of debts due to British subjects by enemies has been fully considered by the Enemy Debts Committee, and I do not think that it is possible to consider isolated claims or classes of claims, or to make interim arrangements apart from the general question.

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