§ 62. Sir W. DAVISON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why France and Italy did not apply direct to the United States for such loans as they required after the entry of the United States into the War, instead of applying to Great Britain, who had no money to lend and had to borrow the money from the United States in order to lend it to France and Italy?
As I informed my hon. Friend on Tuesday last, France and Italy applied for and received loans direct from the United States Government after the entry of the United States Government into the War. While His Majesty's Government would have much preferred a system under which they would have been relieved from the 1603 necessity of borrowing from the United States Government for expenditure in the United States of America at the same time as they were lending to the Allied Governments for their expenditure elsewhere, it was not possible for His Majesty's Government to refuse financial assistance to the Allies simply because it involved as a corollary borrowing by His Majesty's Government from the United States Government. It must be remembered that such refusal might have risked the whole Allied cause.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Why did not France and Italy borrow direct from the United States for the arms, accoutrements and money they required rather than asking this country, with no money to lend, to provide them with funds?
I have tried to explain to my hon. Friend, but I have not succeeded in making it clear to him that the Allies did borrow from the United States for their expenditure in America. They borrowed from us for their expenditure elsewhere than in the United States of America. We might have avoided any necessity for borrowing from the United States if our whole credit had been free to meet our own needs, and if we had not used part of our credit to come to the assistance of our Allies.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
Did the United States lend no one any money which was not spent in their own country, and make no real bonâ fide loans to ourselves or the Allies in fact?
I do not know what the hon. Gentleman means by bonâ fide loans. They lent us money, no doubt, to meet our commitments in the United States. It was very essential to us under the circumstances that we should have that assistance, and I hope nothing will be said to lead people to suppose that we underrate the service that America rendered by making those loans.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
Is it a fact that America made no loans to ourselves or the Allies except to cover payments made to America?
I ought not to answer questions of this kind without notice. I hope my hon. Friend will put his question on the Paper.