Mr. E. P. Smith
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make astatement as to the position of British subjects resident in Hong Kong whose property was seized by the Japanese and suffered damage; whether they may expect to receive compensation or reinstatement; to whom they should apply; and whether he will, in anyway, clarify the general position.
§ Sir I. Fraser
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has any statement to make about measures of relief for British subjects in Hong Kong; and about a scheme of compensation to them for assault and loss at the hands of the enemy.
§ Mr. George Hall
British subjects coming to this country after release from captivity in Hong Kong will be eligible for the normal financial assistance which is available in the United Kingdom for those in need; and also for assistance from the Far Eastern Relief Fund in cases of particular needs. If their original residence was in the United Kingdom and they come to this country, they are also eligible for awards under the Civil Injuries Scheme of the United Kingdom if they have received injuries as a result of the enemy occupation of Hong Kong. I would refer to the answer given to the hon. and gallant Member for South Portsmouth (Sir J. Lucas) on 30th October, regarding those British subjects repatriated from captivity in the Far Eastwho are eligible for grants for the purchase of furniture and household goods. Claims in respect of losses of, or damage to, property in Hong Kong as a result of the Japanese occupation, should be sent to the Trading with the Enemy Department, 25, Kingsway, London, W.C.2, for registration until such time as a Claims Registration Office can be set up in Hong Kong.
I regret that I am not yet in a position to state the extent to which it may prove to be possible to award compensation in respect of such losses, and accordingly registration must not be considered as 572W committing the Hong Kong Civil Government, when re-established to payment of compensation.