HC Deb 15 May 1930 vol 238 cc2057-9
70. Mr. ALBERY

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can give any particulars as to what form of guarantee will be attached to the British issue of the loan to be issued under the Young plan?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Philip Snowden)

Under the arrangement agreed to at the Hague Conference in January last the service of the proposed loan will be covered as to two-thirds by a deduction from the unconditional part of the German reparation annuities and as to one-third by a separate payment from the German Budget to the Bank for International Settlements. I am not at present in a position to give any further particulars as to the detailed terms of the bonds, but of course there is no question of any guarantee by the British Government.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there is any truth in the report that the British issue will be of a different nature from that of the continental issues, and, if it is so, is it at the desire of the British Government?


I do not know quite what the hon. Member means by being of a different nature, but bonds issued in London will, I understand, be denominated in sterling, and will not have convertibility into a number of other national currencies.


Can the Chancellor of the Exchequer tell us how much of the loan will be issued in London, and will the coupons be payable in sterling?


Yes, I said that. Coupons will certainly be payable in sterling. I cannot at the moment say how much will be issued in London, but we are entitled to £5,250,000 if the total issue be £60,000,000, and if we take, in London, more than that, as I have announced in the House already, it will be kept in London


Will there be any guarantee that British capital will not be used to purchase those portions of the loan issued in New York, Paris and elsewhere?


The hon. Member knows quite well that there is an internationalism in these issues, and I do not see how it will be possible for the nationals of some other country to be prevented from selling their bonds here, but the fact that we are insisting on the retention of the whole of the London issue in this country shows that we are quite alive to the point which the hon. Member has raised.


Is the right hon. Gentleman taking any steps to prevent British capital being used for that purpose?


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the proportion of the reparation loan to be issued in London will be equivalent to Great Britain's share of German reparations?


Yes, Sir. The whole of the proceeds of the reparation loan issued in London will be retained by the British Empire.


Are we to understand that this country is to find the capital to pay its own reparations?


I really do not know what the hon. Member means; I have not the slightest idea what he means.


Is it a fact, in regard to the amount subscribed by the British participants in this loan, that these people will, in fact, be guaranteeing a similar proportion of German reparation payments?


I have already said "No" in reply to the point as to whether there was any British Government guarantee.