HC Deb 19 March 1935 vol 299 cc998-9

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that, in spite of the recent Mexican budget surplus and large favourable trade balances, the Mexican Government continues to default in respect of its foreign obligations; that the agreement entered into in 1922 between the Mexican Government and the international committee of bankers for the resumption of interest payments and the funding of arrears of interest lapsed after the first year, and that subsequent new agreements concluded in 1925 and in 1930 have not been carried out; whether he will consider securing the co-operation of the United States of America, France, and other countries concerned in bringing economic pressure to bear upon the Mexican Government to amend its present policy; and whether, further, he will take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that the Mexican Government can never again borrow money in London until it has met all its outstanding obligations?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

I fully agree with my hon. Friend that the foreign bondholders of Mexico are entitled to better treatment than that which they have received from the Mexican Government. I am informed that on the 8th January last the Mexican Ministry of Finance published a statement to the effect that the Mexican Government confirmed their declaration that Mexico recognises her financial commitments abroad: that she will not be able during 1935 to make any payments) in respect of the service of her foreign debt, but that during the year the Government will make a study of the question, and will in due course make public the decisions reached. His Majesty's Government will continue to watch the situation in the interests of British bondholders. In reply to the last part of the question, I would refer to the reply given to the hon. Member for North Newcastle-on-Tyne (Sir N. Grattan-Doyle) on the 4th February.