HC Deb 08 March 1938 vol 332 cc1712-3
49. Mr. Liddall

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Council of Foreign Bondholders have just reported that they endeavoured in 1937, and unsuccessfully, to ascertain from the Brazilian authorities what Brazil could be expected to pay on the external debt upon which Brazil has defaulted five times; and will he, in future, stipulate, before relaxing the embargo on any issue here of a foreign government loan, that an ascertainment of what the borrower can be expected to pay shall be obtained and published before, and not after, the foreign loan has been floated?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Simon)

I am aware of the references to Brazil made in the recent report of the Council of Foreign Bondholders. In reply to the second part of the question, I would remind my hon. Friend that, in my recent announcement on foreign lending, I made it quite clear that consents would not be given indiscriminately to applications on behalf of foreign Governments, which would continue to be considered on their merits. Naturally, the treatment of British interests in the past is one of the matters which would be considered.

50. Mr. Liddall

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Anglo-German payments agreement has benefited Anglo-German trade at the expense of British savings subscribed to German post-War nongovernmental loans to rehabilitate Anglo-German trade; and will he arrange for the defaulted German contracts on long-term British investments to be met in cash, and not again in Konversionskasse paper as announced on 28th February, so that the agreement shall operate more fairly for investors instead of mainly for the benefit of acceptance and finance houses?

Sir J. Simon

The acceptance and finance houses are concerned with "Standstill Credits," which have never been affected by the Anglo-German Payments Agreement, but are governed by the Standstill Agreements made between the creditors and the German authorities direct. As regards the holders of non-Reich loans, I would refer my hon. Friend to the replies given to him on 22nd and 23rd February, to which I have nothing to add.

Sir J. Nall

Are the payments still standing still?