HC Deb 28 November 1933 vol 283 cc689-90

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the amount of the advances made to the Newfoundland Government in December, 1932, and June, 1933; what further advances in the next three years, to be treated as free grants, are contemplated; and what is the total amount of liability to be assumed by the Home Government to balance the defaults of the Newfoundland Government?


The advances made to the Newfoundland Government from the Exchequer in December, 1932, and June, 1933, amounted to £550,826. The advances which would be required during the next three years, in the event of the proposals recently announced in Command Paper No. 4479 being accepted by the Parliaments of Newfoundland and the United Kingdom, would depend upon the extent to which the annual revenue falls short of the annual expenditure, including the expenses of administration and the service of the public debt. Apart from advances of this nature during the period until the Island is again self-supporting, there would be a contingent liability in connection with the proposed guaranteed loan.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say when these proposals will be brought before the House, and also give us something more definite in regard to the liabilities in which we may be involved?


As regards the first part of the supplementary question, we must await the action of the Newfoundland Government before we can bring any proposals before the House. As regards the second part of the question, it would be impossible to give any definite information because the answer depends on what estimate one forms as to the likelihood of deficits in future budgets of Newfoundland.