§ Lord Lester of Herne Hill
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the statement of the Lord Haskel on 18 February (H.L. Deb., col. 277–279), whether the 14WA five conditions for obtaining the release of property to victims of Nazi persecution were prescribed by international law or United Kingdom law; and, if so, where and upon what terms the law was so prescribed; and [HL723]
Further to the statement by the Lord Haskel on 18 February (H.L. Deb., cols. 277–279), whether they consider that they were obliged in law to release property to victims of Nazi persecution only in accordance with the five conditions; and, if so, what is their basis for this view. [HL758]
§ Lord Haskel
The five conditions were not binding upon Her Majesty's Government but they did set the international standard. They also had an international legal effect, in that it was only certain assets, including the assets of individuals who satisfied the five conditions, which could be excluded from account under the Accounting Rules of the Inter-Allied Reparation Agency. Subject to the general principles of administrative law (which were essentially the same in the late 1940s as now), Her Majesty's Government were free to set whatever terms they saw fit for release of claimants' property: they could have been more restrictive or less. Adoption of the five conditions was what appeared right at the time; and subsequent relaxations were made where justified.