asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will be able to make a statement about the distribution of Roumanian and Hungarian assets held by the Custodian of Enemy Property.
A draft of the Treasury direction is nearly ready. I hope to make it available to Parliament before the direction comes into effect, and, at the same time, to give any explanations that may be needed.
It was as far back as July, 1952, that we were told that this direction was almost ready? Can my hon. Friend give us any reason for this long delay, which has caused a lot of inconvenience to many people?
Yes, I have already expressed regret on more than one occasion for the delay that has taken place, which, I agree, has been very long. It is now merely a question of finishing the legal drafting of the direction, which is a complicated task, but it is going on and it should not take long to finish.
Can my hon. Friend say when it will be finished, within a few weeks or months? It took years last time.
Within weeks, Sir.