HC Deb 05 November 1936 vol 317 cc237-8

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in order to prevent the continued maltreatment of British savings and the loss of revenue to the Treasury, he will request a Treasury official to negotiate with the Mexican, Brazilian, Bulgarian, and Rumanian Governments with regard to the British-owned dishonoured obligations of those Governments, seeing that the British Council of Foreign Bondholders has not succeeded in ending defaults imposed unilaterally by those borrowers?


As the House is aware, the practice of His Majesty's Government in regard to defaults on foreign loans generally is not to intervene directly, but to watch the interests of British holders and in particular to make every effort to secure that settlements are reached by negotiation with the recognised representatives of the bondholders. I do not consider that it would be desirable to depart from this practice. I would add that, in some of the cases referred to by my hon. Friend, payments are being made by the foreign Governments concerned in accordance with the terms of settlements reached after negotiation with representatives of the bondholders and I see no reason to suppose that the settlements thus made were not the best which were possible in the existing circumstances.


May we take it for granted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer knows that we owe America a few hundred millions?