HC Deb 14 November 1950 vol 480 cc146-7W
Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to a statement in the judgment of the French Tribunal, Civil de la Seine, in the case of de Morinni versus Enregistrement, citing as one of the reasons for its adverse decision, a letter from His Majesty's Ambassador in Paris of 18th October, 1946, in which it was stated that it was not the intention of His Majesty's Government to contest the opinion of the French Government that the Treaty of 1882 does not exempt British subjects from the Impôt de Solidarite; and whether he will make it clear that no agreed interpretation of the Treaty exists between the British and French Governments to the effect that British subjects are not exempt from this tax.

Mr. Ernest Davies

His Majesty's Government have refrained from invoking the Treaty of 1882 as a matter of policy. For this reason they have not found it necessary to contest the interpretation of the French Government, to the effect that the Treaty does not exempt British subjects from the tax in question. It does not follow from this that an agreed interpretation exists; such, in fact is not the case. I understand that this matter is the subject of litigation in the French courts. It appears to His Majesty's Government that the interpretation put by the French Tribunal on the letter of 18th October, 1946, from His Majesty's Embassy to the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, may have prejudiced the claims of British subjects to this exemption.