asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the harmful effect of the still unsettled condition of the reparation question upon the trade of Europe, and Great Britain in particular, His Majesty's Government will offer to surrender in favour of France some or all of its claims on the Reparation Fund, and also make some proposal for adjustments of debts due from France to Great Britain?
This problem involves so many complications that I do not think it is possible, and I am sure it is undesirable, to attempt to deal with it in the form of Answers to Parliamentary Questions. I would refer the Noble Lord to the statement which I made in the Debate on the 31st May last.
Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to make a statement, or to put one of his Ministers up to make a statement on the matter and let us know what the Government's views are?
Is it not important that the Government should formulate a policy in order to get rid of this millstone which his policy has fastened round the neck of the trade and industry of the country?
I am sorry to say the responsibility is neither mine nor the Government's but the responsibility of several nations, whose interests have to be reconciled, and it is a much more difficult matter than the Noble Lord seems to imagine.
The Noble Lord really has not made himself acquainted with the facts. Even if the whole of the pension claim were ruled out, the Germans have not up to the present paid instalments which would pay France and Belgium for actual damage done to property. That is one of the difficulties.