§ 25. Sir NICHOLAS GRATTAN-DOYLE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether a Treasury official will in future watch the interests of British holders of bonds of defaulting foreign Governments as in the case of the Anglo-German debt conference, in view of the fact that issuing houses and members of the Council of Foreign Bondholders are at a disadvantage in resisting the imposition of unilateral arrangements owing to having sold the bonds to British holders on behalf of the defaulting Governments?
His Majesty's Government had a special interest in the case of the Dawes and Young Loans because they were issued under the auspices of the Allied Governments in connection with the Reparation Settlements. Similar considerations do not 2130 apply to other foreign loans, but His Majesty's Government at all times watch closely the interests of British holders of bonds of defaulting foreign Governments, and in particular make every effort to secure that settlements are reached by negotiation with representatives of the bondholders. In many cases of recent defaults, settlements have been reached as the result of negotiations with the Council of Foreign Bondholders or with the League Loans Committee. I am informed that no member of the Council of Foreign Bondholders belongs to an issuing house which has sold bonds on behalf of defaulting foreign Governments, and there is, therefore, no justification for the criticism implied in my hon. Friend's question.
§ Mr. THORNE
Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that it would be much better for foreign Governments to pay their debts instead of spending so much on armaments?