48. Mr. A. T. DAVIES
asked the Prime Minister whether the Peace Treaty with Austria provides that liabilities in Austrian currency of Austrian nationals to British subjects are to be discharged in sterling at the pre-war rate of exchange; will the Austrian Government guarantee the payment of such debts, and, if not, how will they be recovered; what assistance will the Government render in the recovery of such debts, in view of the fact that British creditors have been prohibited from receiving payment of their debts during the War; and what steps will be taken to make Austrian assets in this country available for payment of Austrian liabilities here?
§ Sir A. GEDDES
I have been asked to answer this question. The answer to the first part is in the affirmative. The guarantee of the Austrian Government for payment of the private debts of her citizens will apply only in the event of a clearing office scheme being adopted, and it is not proposed to adopt that scheme in the case of Austria. It will be necessary for British creditors to take the ordinary steps to obtain payment of their debts, but provision is made in the Treaty for 265 Austrian assets in this country being charged with the payment of Austrian liabilities here.