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Compensation Payments

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why compensation is to be paid out of German funds in cases where Control Commission panels determine that responsibility for damage to the person or property of Germans attaches to a member or employee of the occupying authorities.

These compensation payments are part of the internal cost of occupation and are, therefore, properly to be borne by the Germans.

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that where a member of the Control Commission has, through neglect or wrong-doing, committed some act, it can hardly be called a part of the normal cost of occupation? Does it not appear an odd conception of justice that such exceptional costs should have to be charged against the people who have suffered from those acts?

The question of negligence seems to me to be a separate one, and it is being examined by my office, but it is a most complex legal question. I repeat that the presence of an occupying force there is, however, unpalatable, a consequence that the Germans must accept, and these items will therefore find their proper place in the accounts eventually presented to them.