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Bulgaria (Claims)

Volume 643: debated on Wednesday 5 July 1961

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asked the Lord Privy Seal what progress is being made towards the settlement of claims made by British subjects against the Bulgarian Government through the Foreign Compensation Commission.

One hundred and thirty-eight applications have been received by the Foreign Compensation Commission under the Foreign Compensation (Bulgaria) Order, 1958; the Commission has finally determined ninety-eight of these and expects to have disposed of the remainder by the end of July, with a view to making an interim payment shortly afterwards.

While welcoming that news, is my right hon. Friend aware that some of these people have been waiting for over ten years and that one gentleman, about whom I have already written to his Department, was for four years in a Nazi internment camp and is 79 years of age? As his claim has been provisionally accepted by the Foreign Compensation Commission and estimated at being over £12,000, will my right hon. Friend at least make sure that these people are able to get something before they die?

I realise that there has been a delay, but it has been a complicated matter. I am hopeful, as I say, that the Foreign Compensation Commission will be in a position to make some payment shortly, and I hope that that will help my hon. Friend's constituent.