§ Mr. SNOWDEN
(by Private Notice) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the expected visit of the French Finance Minister to London to complete the debt settlement has been postponed, and whether the proposals agreed to in principle with M. Caillaux are to be regarded as open indefinitely?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
As hon. Members are aware, a new French Government has now been formed, in which M. Raoul Peret is Minister of Finance. I am taking steps to resume, as soon as possible, the negotiations which have so many times been interrupted. His Majesty's Government regard the Agreement made with M. Caillaux in August last as binding on both parties, and I do not propose to withdraw the offer then made.
I take this opportunity, however, of pointing out that the interest accruing on the French debt to this country amounts to approximately £30,000,000 sterling per annum, and that this sum is provided by the issue to us, as it arises, of additional French Treasury Bills, which augment continually the total of the debt. The situation is, therefore, one of serious and increasing difficulty; and it is indispensable that the various outstanding points should be adjusted, and that the Agreement should be fully completed within a reasonable time.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
Are we to assume that the right hon. Gentleman has no intention of modifying the arrangement made last year?
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
Has the right hon. Gentleman sent any communication to M. Peret since the new Government has been formed?