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British Property (Claims)

Volume 643: debated on Wednesday 5 July 1961

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asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, pending a German peace treaty, he will collect details of the claims of British citizens whose property, situate in Germany, was lost as a result of the war of 1939–45.

No, Sir. I do not think that in existing circumstances this would serve any useful purpose.

Does not my hon. Friend feel that when a German peace treaty is negotiated eventually one may find oneself in considerable difficulty in formulating these claims owing to the passage of time? Does not he feel that this would be a good opportunity to collect a comprehensive register of these claims which could be put forward in any German peace treaty negotiations?

I do not think that we could do that. This is normally done under a peace treaty by the submission of claims by the claimants direct to the dependent Government. Therefore, prior registration with us would probably not be accepted. Certain particulars of British property in Germany were registered at the Board of Trade during and after the war, although they did not include details of claims.