asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many claims have been lodged under the Foreign Compensation (Czechoslovakia) Order 1982; what is the reason for the delay in making payments; what time limit there is on the making of such claims; whether arrangements exist for payment while claimants are still alive; and if he will make a statement.
Altogether 2,204 claims have been lodged with the Foreign Compensation Commission under the terms of the Foreign Compensation (Czechoslovakia) Order 1982. The closing date for lodging claims under this order was 31 August 1983. The circumstances which led to many of these claims were such that we have had to approach the Czechoslovak authorities on behalf of the Foreign Compensation Commission to try and obtain additional information which the claimants have been unable to provide themselves, in order to verify the claims. Some 1,700 queries have been put to the Czechoslovak authorities and, while they are being very co-operative in this matter and have already supplied over 330 replies to the queries, it is inevitable that they will need more time to process the large number which remain outstanding. Up to the end of April 1985, the Foreign Compensation Commission had reached decisions on 373 of the claims.