Indonesia (British Assets)

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th March 1972.

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Mr. Edward Taylor:

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in obtaining compensation for British assets seized in Indonesia.

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

We understand that the Indonesian Government are currently reconsidering the basis on which the claims submitted by British firms should be settled; and that the reconsideration should be completed this month. We hope that better progress will then be made.

Mr. Taylor:

How long have these negotiations been proceeding, and how much British aid has been given to Indonesia in the interim?

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

The negotiations have been continuing for some time. The Indonesian Government have given first priority to claims for resumption of control over estates. All major British claims for the return of estates have now been settled. The last British firm concerned, Anglo-Indonesian Plantations Ltd., signed an agreement with the Indonesian Government on 18th November. I will be happy to publish figures of aid in the Official Report.

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that the development of backward countries depends to a great degree on the extent that they inspire confidence in individual traders and investors and that the way in which, in Tanzania and various other countries, assets have been expropriated without compensation does little good to the developing countries?

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

I agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman that expropriation without compensation does little good to any developing country.

Following are the figures:

United Kingdom aid to Indonesia
The figures for the past few years are:
1968–69£1·46 million
1969–70£2·52 million
1970–71£2·85 million
1971–72£3·50–£4 million (estimated)