§ 50 Mr. William Teeling
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) whether he can give an assurance, in view of Article III of the Compensation Agreement with Yugoslavia, dated 23rd December, 1948, that the amount of any debts due from nationalised Yugoslav firms to British claimants, will be taken into account in arriving at the compensation to be paid to such claimants;
§ (2) whether he has considered the extraterritorial effect of nationalisation and other similar measures taken by the Yugoslav Government, and recognised by His Majesty's Government in the Agreement of 23rd December, 1948; and how far any surrender which claimants may be called upon to execute under the terms of the Notes then exchanged with the Yugoslav Government will have to extend to property of nationalised Yugoslav firms or companies which were at all relevant times situated outside Yugoslavia;
§ (3) to what extent the scheme for the distribution of the compensation moneys received from the Yugoslav Government as a result of the Agreement of 23rd December, 1948, will include provision for the payment of compensation to British claimants in respect of chattels and other private property, looted or otherwise lost or destroyed by Yugoslav partisans during and after the evacuation of Yugoslavia by the Germans.
§ Mr. Ernest Davies
Legislation is to be introduced very shortly to establish a Foreign Claims Commission empowered to adjudicate claims and to distribute amounts received from the Yugoslav Government. An explanatory White Paper will accompany the Bill and will provide the detailed answers to the Questions asked by the hon. Member. Classes of claims referred to in Question No. 52 fall entirely outside the scope of the 1948 Anglo-Yugoslav Compensation Agreement.
§ Mr. Teeling
Will the hon. Gentleman say whether he has particulars of cases such as those I have referred to, if he is following this question at the present moment? With regard to the last part of Question No. 52, if it has nothing to do with the present arrangements, does His Majesty's Government intend to put any claim before the Yugoslav Government, because there are many British subjects who have suffered considerable losses?
§ Mr. Davies
With regard to the second supplementary question, the Yugoslav Government have made no provision for war damage claims such as that referred to in the Question, and it is hardly likely that we will take steps in this matter at 601 present in view of the small amount involved and the unlikelihood of the Yugoslav Government treating foreigners differently from the manner in which they treat their own nationals.
§ Mr. Teeling
Am I to understand that because the sums are small the British Government are not going to protect British interests? Is that so?