HC Deb 21 December 1944 vol 406 cc1997-8W
Sir H. Morris-Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the present position in regard to the affairs of the Brazil Land, Cattle and Packing Company, whose bonds and shares are registered in this country as dollar securities; and whether a settlement has been arrived at in regard to their claim against the Brazilian Government which would enable dollar funds to be placed at the disposal of this country.

Mr. George Hall

The Brazil Land, Cattle and Packing Company was expropriated by the Brazilian Government along with certain other enterprises, under Decree Law No. 2436 of 22nd July, 1940. Representations were made to the Brazilian Government at the time by His Majesty's Ambassador, calling attention to the British interests involved and request- ing that the assets of the Companies concerned should either be returned to their owners, or fair compensation paid in respect of them. The above-mentioned decree law provided that a Commission nominated by the President of the Republic should prepare an inventory and valuation of the assets and properties of the incorporated undertakings, and the Minister of Finance was authorised, on completion of the inventory, to negotiate liquidations of the amounts recognised as being due. In February, 1944, the Ambassador called the attention of the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs to the fact that the Commission had completed their task in respect of the Company mentioned in the Question, and asked him to be good enough to take the necessary steps to arrange for an early settlement. Since then His Majesty's Embassy have on several occasions drawn the attention of the Brazilian authorities to the importance of effecting a settlement without further delay, and my hon. Friend can rest assured that sight will not be lost of this matter.