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Japan (Reparations)

Volume 465: debated on Monday 30 May 1949

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45.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is now in a position to make a statement on His Majesty's Government's attitude to the payment of reparations by Japan; and to what extent he has consulted the other members of the British Commonwealth on this subject.

The recent United States proposals on Japanese reparations are still being studied and we are seeking clarification of a number of obscure points. We are naturally in touch with interested Commonwealth Governments on this subject.

Can the Minister of State give any idea when he will be able to make a definite statement on the matter; and does he not think that it would have been much wiser if, before the Americans published this statement, some arrangement or agreement had been made between the British and American Governments?

The Government of the United States, as the hon. Gentleman knows, quite clearly had power to issue interim directives in certain circumstances, and they exerted this power. As to the first part of the question, I should hope that quite soon we shall be able to make a full statement.