§ 22. Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the reason for the lack of progress made by the Anglo-Soviet Joint Committee, which was constituted in September, 1930, to consider the claims of British citizens against the Soviet Government in respect of private property appropriated without compensation.; whether the Soviet authorities have agreed in principle to the payment of compensation; and why it is that the sub-committee dealing with properties has not yet met?
Mr. A. HENDERSON
The Joint committee and its sub-committees are engaged on difficult and complicated negotiations, and while, as I informed the House on Wednesday last, I am disappointed at the slow progress which has been made, I do not consider that the negotiations would be expedited by any statement in the House at the present time.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that every day while this matter is drifting along, a further loss of between£30,000 and£40,000 is occasioned to British citizens, many of whom are my constituents; and does he not think that after eight months he ought, at any rate, to be able to answer 14 that part of the question where I ask whether the Soviet authorities have admitted in principle the question of paying compensation?
I have no objection to the hon. Gentleman looking after his constituents, but I am doing my best to look after the whole of the bondholders.
§ Mr. SMITHERS
Is it not a fact that the attitude of the Soviet representatives is purely one of obstruction, and that they do not wish—[Interruption.]