HC Deb 23 July 1923 vol 167 cc6-7
8. Sir C. YATE

asked the Under Secretary of State for India if his attention has been drawn to the resolution passed by the Indian National Congress at its final sitting on 1st January, 1923, to the effect that after the attainment of Swaraj the people of India will not hold themselves bound to repay public debts or other liabilities contracted by the so called legislature after that date; Whether, considering that the British Government has no responsibility for loans issued by the Secretary of State for India under the East India Loans Act, and the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom has no responsibility in respect of loans issued by the Government of India, he will give an assurance to trustees who have invested, or may wish to invest, trust money in such loans; and that the Government will insist that one of the conditions on which responsible Government is eventually given to India will be that such obligations will not be repudiated?


The attention of the Secretary of State has been called to the resolution passed by this Convention. The question raised by my hon. and gallant Friend is one that relates to the future, and will have to be considered by whatever Government is in office when the constitutional change to which he refers takes place. The Secretary of State is perfectly satisfied that no Government or Parliament would ever fail in its recognition of the importance of a proper settlement in regard to these matters.


Considering that the hon. Member for North Battersea (Mr. Saklatvala) stated in this House on the 5th instant that the Indian people had a perfect right to repudiate loans issued by the Government of India, can India hope to obtain Trustee security terms for their loans if the Government does not take some action?


Is the Noble Lord aware that certain public meetings in India unanimously passed resolutions that they will repudiate such loans raised here without their sanction?


With regard to the first supplementary question, put by the hon. Baronet the Member for Melton (Sir C. Yate), I believe that in other countries besides India irresponsible bodies of people have passed resolutions in favour of Governments getting out of their legal and financial obligations, but it is not thought necessary that the Governments in those countries should issue any statement on the subject. With regard to the question of the hon. Member for North Battersea (Mr. Saklatvala), I am aware that certain very irresponsible bodies of people in India have passed resolutions on that subject, but neither my Noble Friend nor myself propose to take any notice of them.


Does not the remarkable success of recent Indian loans in this country show that the financial world in England does not take the least notice of these foolish resolutions?


Yes, Sir.