HC Deb 29 February 1928 vol 214 cc388-9
8. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs with respect to the interest on the Ottoman Loan of 1855, guaranteed by Great Britain and France and costing British taxpayers £72,000 a year and French taxpayers nothing, approximately what proportion of bonds are held in this country and what proportion on the Continent; and why we continue to pay French bondholders interest which their own Government does not?


I have no information as to the proportion of these bonds held in this country and on the Continent respectively. With regard to the latter part of the question, payments are made in accordance with the guarantee of the interest on the loan entered into by His Majesty's Government with the French Government, jointly and severally, at the time of the loan's flotation. With regard to the French Government's obligations, I would refer the right hon. and gallant Gentleman to the reply returned to him by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary on the 23rd instant.


In view of the fact that the French Government are not paying any interest on that loan and the British taxpayers are paying the whole of this £72,000 a year, would it not be possible to differentiate between the recipients of the money paid, so that we might pay the British bondholders, and the French Government might pay or not pay, as they chose, the French bondholders?


Have representations been made to France on this matter?


Is it not a fact that as soon as this Government took possession of the island, the French said their duties lapsed?


Perhaps hon. Members will be good enough to put these various questions on the Paper.

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