HC Deb 26 June 1956 vol 555 cc33-4W
Mr. Leavey

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a further statement about the distribution of German enemy property.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The Administrator of German Enemy Property is now in a position to complete his distribution and will forthwith start paying out to claimants on the General Fund a third and final dividend of 10¼d. in the £ which, together with the first and second dividends of 1s. each in the £ will make a total dividend of 2s. 10¼d. In all some £16 million will have been distributed to British creditors.

This will exhaust the German enemy property at present in hand. It will be necessary, however, to make arrangements under the Distribution of German Enemy Property Act, 1949, for the disposal of such assets as will accrue later. The amount expected to accrue over the next three or four years would be insufficient to make practicable any further worth while distribution to the 28,000 claimants, and for this reason the present third dividend will be a final dividend closing the distribution.

While no further sum will be available for distribution to British creditors and it will no longer be possible to consider applications for the return of the assets of individual Germans who were the victims of Nazi persecution, the Government has decided that it is right to make some provision to help in cases of real suffering caused by this persecution. It is proposed, therefore, to allocate future accruals up to a total of £250,000 to an appropriate charity for the purpose of relieving suffering occasioned as a result of racial, religious or political persecution by the Nazis in Germany and those countries in which the German Nazi influence predominated. Further accruals beyond the sum of £250,000 will be paid over to the Exchequer. An Order in Council is necessary to give effect to these proposals and will be made in due course.