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Burma (British Firms, Compensation)

Volume 446: debated on Wednesday 28 January 1948

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will now make a statement regarding compensation to British firms in Burma who, as result of carrying out the Government's scorched-earth policy, have suffered financial loss.

I understand that the British interests involved are now taking legal action in Burma. I hope, therefore, that the hon. Gentleman will agree that it is consequently undesirable that I should meantime make any statement.

Am I to take it that His Majesty's Government will no longer accept responsibility for the scorched-earth policy which was carried out on instructions from them?

I should not make any inferences. I should hope that hon. Members will confine themselves to the fact. There are legal appeals pending after endless discussion, and I suggest we should see what course those appeals take.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many people of our own country had their whole lives scorched during the war without any compensation?

Could the Minister say whether the action is against the British Government or the Burmese Government?