HC Deb 18 March 1946 vol 420 cc299-300W
Major McCallum

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps are taken to help British nationals whose property in Italy was damaged in the war as a result of occupation by the Germans and bombing and shelling by the Allies; and if he will give an assurance that the interests of these people will not be overlooked by the British authorities when drawing up the peace treaty with Italy.

Sir S. Cripps

Throughout the war, registration facilities have been available toBritish owners of property in Italy. Particulars of property so registered were made available to the military authorities, and as and when Italian territory was liberated appropriate action was taken with the Italian sequestrators to ensure protection of the property. Whilst responsibility for this property remains with the Italian Government until satisfactory arrangements can be made for its return to the owners, Consular officers, who have taken over this task from the military authorities, are ready to safeguard owners' interests and particularly to give advice as to the state of their property and to endeavour to arrange for necessary repairs to be carried out by the Italian authoritiesto prevent further deterioration.

It is hoped that early arrangements will be made for the return of the property to owners. Consular officers are responsible for advising owners or their representatives resident in Italy, but inquiries originating in the United Kingdom should be addressed to the Controller General, Trading with the Enemy Department, 24, Kingsway, London, W.C.2, who will secure reports from the Consular Officers and forward them to the owners here. His Majesty's Government are not yet in aposition to receive and sponsor claims for loss or damage sustained since the outbreak of war, but the interests of United Nations owners of property in Italy will be borne in mind in connection with the Peace Treaty.