HC Deb 02 July 1923 vol 166 cc58-9W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Commissioner who was sent out to Constantinople has completed his task; if so, what is the total sum which ranks as pre-War claims and how are they to be settled; what is the total amount of claims which rank under Annex I to Part VIII of the Treaty of Versailles and for which Germany is responsible; can payment be made forthwith to claimants under this head; what is the total which ranks against Turkey alone; and will His Majesty's Government, taking into consideration the hardships and financial condition of British claimants which have existed since November, 1914, proceed forthwith to make payments out of the amount due by the Government for the two Dreadnoughts belonging to Turkey and seized in August, 1914?

Viscount WOLMER

I have been asked to reply. With regard to the first part of the question, the Commissioner has not yet completed his task, and I cannot yet give the information asked for in the second, third and fifth parts. As regards the fourth part, claims in respect of personal injury in Turkish territory are covered by the First Report of the Royal Commission, and awards in these cases have already been paid, or will be paid shortly. Claims in respect of damage to property are being dealt with as indicated in my answer to the hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. R. Morrison) on 18th June, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy. It will not be possible to make any payments in advance unless a claimant proves that he is in necessitous circumstances. As regards the last part I would refer to the answer given by the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to the hon. Member for Deritend (Mr. Smedley Crooke) on 25th June, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy.

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