HC Deb 29 June 1959 vol 608 cc10-1W
Mr. du Cann

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what further progress has been made in the negotiations for a general settlement of outstanding financial questions with the Soviet Government, with particular reference to United Kingdom claims arising from the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States in 1940.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

As a result of discussions held in Moscow recently between experts representing Her Majesty's Government and the Soviet Government, it has been agreed that both sides should obtain full particulars of all outstanding claims which have arisen since 1939, including those relating to the Baltic States, with a view to the opening of negotiations for a comprehensive settlement.

Our information about certain categories of United Kingdom claims is incomplete and it is proposed to invite persons having claims in these categories to register them with the Foreign Compensation Commission. An Order in Council for this purpose is in course of preparation. No action on the part of the claimants is necessary until the Order is published.

The registration and preliminary examination of claims will take a considerable time and it will probably be at least twelve months before negotiations with the Soviet Government could begin.

The Soviet Government have so far refused to discuss claims which arose before 1939. Her Majesty's Government have reserved their position as far as these claims are concerned.

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