HC Deb 13 April 1948 vol 449 cc56-7W
40. Mr. Donner

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the savings in the Post Office Savings Bank Department of British subjects finding themselves resident in enemy territory as a result of the outbreak of war in 1939 were paid to the Custodian under the Trading with the Enemy Act, 1939; that such monies were held by the Custodian at the disposal of the Board of Trade until refunded; that the Custodian Order makes no provision for interest to be allowed on monies paid to the Custodian; and whether he will take such steps as may be necessary to ensure payment of interest to such British subjects thus deprived of interest on their savings for several years.

Sir S. Cripps

I am aware that the Custodian of Enemy Property required banks, including the Post Office Savings Bank, to pay to him moneys standing in the accounts of persons who were then resident in the countries with which we were at war; it would not have been possible to differentiate between account holders by reference to nationality. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the affirmative. There are no funds available from which payment of interest to British subjects could be made, and I am not prepared to consider asking for Parliamentary authority to make such payments.