§ 3. Sir PHILIP RICHARDSON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the United States Government has been approached with the suggestion that it should contribute to the cost of the late war, either for its whole period or for the period between the declaration of war and the time when the United States put an army on the battle front in Europe; and, if not whether the Government will confer with our Allies and discuss the whole question of the cost of the war, and the consequent inter-Allied debts, with a view to reapportioning the cost of the war in some way proportionately to the wealth and population of the participants?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. The policy of this country in regard to war debts is well known. We were in favour of an all-round cancellation of war debts; having failed to 981 secure acceptance of this policy, we are fulfilling our obligations as debtors, and as creditors seek to make no profit, but only to obtain enough from the debts due to us and from reparation to cover the payments which we have to make. A conference of the kind suggested, in the absence of any measure of agreement on general principles among all those concerned, would serve no useful purpose.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HOWARD-BURY
Is my hon. Friend aware that the United States of America have a budget surplus of £120,000,000 this year, and that they are the only country that has financially benefited out of the war?
§ Sir FREDRIC WISE
Is it not a fact that the United States have received their reparations before the British Empire?
That question does not arise out of this question. Perhaps my hon. Friend will put his question on the Paper.