HC Deb 21 February 1924 vol 169 cc2035-6W

asked the President. of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Clearing Office (Enemy Debts) is issuing unending correspondence to traders in this country concerning alleged trivial claims of upwards of 10 years' standing, thus imposing serious loss and expense to the country and its traders; and, if so, what action he proposes to take to mitigate this burden upon the nation's commerce?


It is the duty of the Department referred to, upon receipt of a claim against a British national, to communicate with the alleged debtor, and if the claim is admitted, to request payment of the amount. In view of the responsibility assumed by the British Government, in common with all the Allied and ex-enemy Governments who have adopted the clearing procedure, for the debts owing by its nationals, the failure to collect such debts would impose a burden upon public funds.