HC Deb 18 April 1928 vol 216 cc160-1
2. Colonel HOWARD-BURY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the default and the repudiation of their public debts by the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North and South Carolina, and the impossibility of making representations to each State, he will make representations to the Federal Government; of the United States of America and point out to them the hardships of the bondholders, most of whom are British subjects?


No, Sir. His Majesty's Government, after carefully considering this matter, have decided that no useful purpose would be served by addressing representations to the United States Government in the sense suggested by my hon. and gallant Friend.


Is my hon. Friend aware that these loans were used for constructive and development purposes in those States, that some £78,000,000 principal and interest is now owing to British bondholders, who are the chief sufferers, and will he not make strong representation on behalf of these bondholders?


I am quite well aware of what my hon. and gallant Friend says, but I hope he will not press the matter. At the present moment, I do not think that I can really add anything to the answer.


Is it not the case that the American Government pressed the Alabama claims, and does my hon. Friend not think that we ought to press these claims in view of the generous way in which this country has met the American claims arising out of the late War?


Does the hon. Gentleman not think this is another case where he might send troops of occupation to the States for the protection of British interests?


That is a matter for debate.