§ MR. H. H. MARKS (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British Minister at Buenos Ayres has been instructed to protest against the attempt on the part of the Argentine Government to compel British insurance companies trading in its territory to lend money to it, under colour of requiring a guarantee or deposit in certain bonds expressly created for that purpose, and unmarketable in the ordinary course; whether he is aware that certain insurance companies have declared their intention to withdraw from the country rather than comply with this requirement; and what reply, if any, has been received from the Argentine Government?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
In the absence of my right hon. Friend, I will answer this Question. Yes. Her Majesty's Minister at Buenos Ayres was instructed on the 11th ult. to protest against the provisions of the new Argentine Budget Law, which required foreign insurance companies to deposit special 414 issue bonds in excess of their market value as an infringement of our treaty rights. Mr. Barrington has, however, reported that, as the result of negotiations between the representatives of some of the companies and the Argentine Minister of Finance, the latter had consented to give Treasury bills for the amounts to be deposited, and that the companies were prepared to accept this as a temporary arrangement.