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Peace Treaties (German Reparation)

Volume 148: debated on Tuesday 8 November 1921

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asked the Prime Minister whether the arrangement is concluded and has been approved by the French Government and Germany for the payment in kind of 7,000,000,000 marks reparation to France; what are the terms; and was the British Government consulted?

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer must refer my hon. Friend to the White Paper on this subject promised in his answer of the 24th October to the hon. Member for Newcastle East (Major Barnes), which will, I understand, be available to-day. As the hon. Member will see from the White Paper, the French Government have, in accordance with the terms of the Agreement, submitted it for approval to the Reparation Commission, who have in turn referred it to the Governments represented thereon.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what fund have the German payments of £5,444,000 for coal, £38,704,000 for costs of Army of Occupation, and £4,368,000 for ships been credited; what is the total amount of German reparation payments due to Great Britain under the Treaty of Versailles; when the next German reparation payment is due; and what are the amounts payable to the Allies and Great Britain, respectively?

With the permission of the hon. Member, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will circulate his reply in the OFFICIAL REPORT, as it is inevitably somewhat lengthy.

The following is the reply:

Of the sum of £5,544,000 received in repayment of the advances under the German Coal Deliveries Agreement, £5,500,000 has been appropriated in aid of the Vote for advances under that Agreement and the balance has been paid to the Exchequer. (My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer regrets that the figure of £5,444,000 given in his reply to the hon. and gallant Member for the Central Division of Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) on the 18th ultimo was inaccurate, the correct figure being £5,544,000.) Out of the sum of £38,704,000 received up to the 30th September last on account of this country's claim for cost of armies of occupation, the, sum of £6,413,000 has been paid into the Exchequer as "special receipts," and the balance is being held by the Treasury in a Suspense Account pending payment to the Exchequer on the final ratification of the Financial Agreement signed at Paris on 13th August last. The sum of £4,368,000 is receivable hereafter in respect of ships sold; when received it will be paid into the Exchequer.

The Reparation Commission fixed at 132 milliards of gold marks (subject to certain adjustments) the total amount to be paid by Germany for reparation. The Treaty provides that the amounts received are to be divided by the Allied and Associated Governments in proportions determined upon by them. The British Empire proportion was fixed by the Spa Agreement at 22 per cent. of the receipts from Germany, the remainder being distributed as follows>:—France 52 per cent., Italy 10 per cent., Japan 75 per cent., Belgium 8 per cent., Portugal 75 per cent., and 6·5 per cent. was reserved for Greece, Roumania, the Serb Croat Slovene State and other powers entitled to reparation which were not signatories of the Agreement.

The Reparation Commission prescribed by the Schedule of Payments of May last that Germany was to pay to the Reparation Commission a fixed annuity of two milliard gold marks and a variable annuity equal to 26 per cent. of German exports, both in quarterly instalments, to provide for interest and Sinking Fund payments in respect of the Bonds to be delivered by Germany to the Commission by way of security for and acknowledgment of her debt, and issued as therein provided. The quarterly instalment of the variable annuity which is due on 15th November is estimated to be covered by deliveries in kind and receipts under the Reparation (Recovery) Act. The next payment due, therefore, is the sum of 500,000,000 gold marks (being the third quarterly instalment of the fixed annuity) which is due on 15th January next. On the assumption that the British cost of occupation will have been covered by that date, this sum will be payable to Belgium in respect of her priority.