§ Mr. ASQUITH (by Private Notice)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can give any information to the House in regard to the Anglo-French loan?
The Anglo French loan of $500,000,000, which was issued on October, 1915, on the joint and several security of the Governments of the United Kingdom and France, matures on the 15th October of this year. After full consideration, the French Finance Minister and I came to the conclusion that it was not desirable to renew this loan in the United States of America and that we ought to take the necessary steps to provide for our respective halves. The method in which this is to be done is, of course, a matter for each Government to decide as it thinks fit. The House will be glad to know that the British Government has no intention of reborrowing outside the United Kingdom any part of the $250,000,000 required, so that when the loan is repaid we shall have reduced our external debt by over £50,000,000. We shall employ for the purpose resources already available or in sight in the United States and to the extent to which they are not sufficient we shall ship gold. I may add that we have already made a beginning by buying Anglo-French Bonds in the market at a considerable discount below par.