§ Mr. GRANT
(by Private Notice) asked the Prime Minister whether an agreement has been come to by the Allied Powers to assist financially the Austrian Government; and, if so, to what extent this country is involved; and, further, if there is to be full Allied control in Austria over the expenditure of such monies as may be advanced?
The Austrian Government, in co-operation with the Financial Committee of the League of Nations has proposed a scheme for the grant of private credits to Austria, the execution of which is delayed because the liens on Austrian assets in respect of Reparation and Relief Credits have not yet been released by the Governments concerned. In order to enable Austria in the meanwhile to continue its programme of financial reconstruction with an assurance of reasonable stability for the exchange value of the kroner, His Majesty's Government have agreed to make an advance of £2,000,000 1022 to Austria. By agreement with the Austrian Government the expenditure from the loan is to be controlled in Vienna by Mr. G. M. Young on behalf of the British Treasury. It is understood that the Italian Government are considering the grant of a credit to Austria, and that the French Government are asking the French Parliament to vote the funds required for an advance of 50,000,000 francs to Austria with a similar object, and that the Czecho-Slovak Government propose to make an advance of 500,000,000 Czech crowns. The Finance Committee of the League of Nations will be meeting very shortly to consider the situation created by the grant of these new credits.
The functions and the powers of the official to whom I have referred will be more than those of an adviser. They will be those of a substantial controller.
The only specific security beyond the ordinary security is that of the Gobelin tapestries.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
In that case are we assured that when the general loan is made to Austria, this higher loan of £2,000,000 will be on exactly the same footing of security as the subsequent loans.
Sir J. D. REES
Has the League of Nations or its Finance Committee any power to commit the British Government in respect of any such matter as this?
§ Lord R. CECIL
Can the hon. Gentleman say what Governments have released the liens or have not released them?