HC Deb 30 November 1939 vol 355 cc281-2W
Mr. Levy

asked the Minister of Economic Warfare whether it is intended only to impound or requisition, with payment deferred until after the war, in the application of the blockade against German exports; or whether the policy of confiscation, as applied during the later stages of the last war, is to be applied forthwith?

Mr. Cross

My hon. Friend will see from the Order-in-Council laying down the action to be taken against enemy exports that it makes no provision for confiscating goods of German origin or ownership, a policy which, as he rightly states, was only applied in the later stages of the last war as from February, 1917. The present Order-in-Council is based on that of March, 1915, and provides that goods of enemy origin or ownership not requisitioned for the use of His Majesty shall be detained or sold under the direction of the Prize Court. Any further action in regard to the goods or their proceeds is then deferred until after the war except that they may be released earlier if the proper officer of the Crown consents thereto or if the Court is satisfied that the goods have become neutral property before the date of the Order.