HC Deb 22 February 1921 vol 138 cc733-5
2. Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can state the present position with regard to the relief of distress in Austria; what steps are being taken by His Majesty's Government to aid the civil population in Austria and to assist the Austrian Government in restoring trade; and whether any settled policy has yet been adopted with a view to dealing with the present situation?


In 1919 His Majesty's Government made a loan of $16,000,000 to Austria, the French and Italian Governments making equal contributions. In addition to this, His Majesty's Government made a further allocation in that year to Austria of £1,400,000. Further, under the International Relief Credits Scheme of 1920, in which the United States of America and Great Britain alone of the belligerent Governments participated, His Majesty's Government voted a credit of £10,000,000. Of this sum £5,545,000 has been allocated to Austria, to which country His Majesty's Government have thus advanced credits totalling in all more than £10,000,000. Relief of this nature can, however, only be temporary in its effect, and a permanent improvement in the situation can only be achieved by the gradual economic rehabilitation of Austria. As the hon. and gallant Member is doubtless aware, certain recommendations were made recently by a committee of representatives of the principal Allied Powers in Paris specially appointed to study this question. These recommendations are being examined by the Governments concerned, who have not yet reached a final decision.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Have not these payments and credits been very much in the nature of doles or charity, and when does the Government expect to reach, with its Allies, some conclusion as to a settled policy of rehabilitating the country?


I have said that question is now being considered by the several Governments.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is there any hope of some policy being arrived at soon in view of the length of time since the Armistice?


I certainly hope so.

Colonel GREIG

Has any security been taken from that country for the advances which have been made?


Perhaps the hon. and gallant Gentleman will give me notice of that question.