HC Deb 18 October 1932 vol 269 cc12-4

(by Private Notice) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will inform the House as to the total amount of the loans issued under the auspices of the League of Nations; in the case of which loans there has been default; to what extent British capital has been involved in such defaults; and what steps have been taken in the matter?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

The total nominal amount of the loans issued under the auspices of the League of Nations was £79,000,000. Partial or total default has occurred in respect of loans to the total nominal value of £38,000,000, namely, the Bulgarian Settlement. Loan, 1926, the Bulgarian 7½ per cent. Stabilisation Loan, 1928; the Greek 7 per cent. Refugee Loan, 1924, the Greek 6 per cent. Stabilisation Loan, 1928, and the Hungarian State Loan, 1924; to which I would add that while no question of actual default to the bondholders arises, the Austrian Government has failed to remit the proper monthly payments in foreign exchange to tae Trustees of the Guaranteed Loan of 1923. The nominal amount of the named loans which was issued in this country was £22,000,000, but it is not possible to state the exact amount of the British holding at the date of default. In reply to the last part of the question, the Bulgarian and Greek Governments have held discussions with bondholders' representatives, as a result of which provisional arrangements have been recommended to the bondholders. The Council of the League of Nations appointed a small committee, which gave careful consideration to a memorial presented by the League Loans Committee (London) and heard explanations from its Chairman, my right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham (Sir A. Chamberlain). The Council, on the 5th October, expressed the hope that every effort would be made by all these States to resume payment in full at as early a date as possible, and requested the Financial Committee to give particular attention to the League's responsibilities in this connection and to advise whether any further remedial action can be taken at the present time. The Council also declared its opinion that any country which is in default, on a loan issued under the auspices of the League, should avail itself fully of the technical help of League advisers, and should keep the Council fully informed of the position through the Financial Committee.


In view of the fact that it might be necessary to advance credits—I do not suppose for a moment that further loans can be floated—are we to take it, seeing the interest which this country has in the matter, that the right hon. Gentleman contemplates removing, within a reasonable period, the embargo with regard to any further financial arrangements?


I do not think that that arises out of this question.