HC Deb 21 December 1972 vol 848 cc466-7W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, following the nationalisation of general insurance business in India, what action the Government have taken to ensure that British companies operating there receive adequate and prompt compensation for the loss of their business and that such compensation together with their excess assets are freely remittable to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Kershaw

Diplomatic representations have been made to the Government of India on these matters on various occasions. In addition to representations which my right hon. Friend made to the Indian Foreign Minister my right hon. and learned Friend the then Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster raised the matter personally with Mrs. Ghandi in Delhi in September and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer took the matter up with the Indian Finance Minister at the time of the Commonwealth Finance Minister's meeting this year. Regrettably we have not so far received a satisfactory response from the Indian Government.

The British insurers are dissatisfied with the amounts of compensation for the acquisition of their Indian business specified in the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act. The act is due to come into force on 2nd January 1973.

Her Majesty's Government will continue to press for the prompt settlement of the legitimate claims of British insurers, many of whom have operated in India for nearly a century and in some cases even longer.

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