HC Deb 11 June 1940 vol 361 cc1143-5
73. Mr. Thorne

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information from our representative in Mexico, as to whether the trouble between the Royal Dutch Shell oil group and the Mexican Government has been settled?

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Butler)

The dispute between the Mexican Government and the

much of the principal and interest of the £100,000,000 loan to Germany by this and other countries has been paid since 1931 and the amount now owing?

Mr. Butler

I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the Dawes and the Young Loans to Germany. I am circulating in the Official Report a statement of the amounts of each of these loans outstanding in 1931 and at the latest available date.

Interest was paid in full until 1938 on the bonds of both loans certified as being in British ownership. The interest rates on bonds in British ownership were reduced by agreement in the summer of 1938 to 5 per cent. on the Dawes and 4½ per cent. on the Young Loans, and payments at these rates were continued until the outbreak of war.

Following is the statement:

Mexican Eagle Petroleum Company arising out of the expropriation of that Company's properties has not yet been settled.

Mr. Thorne

What is standing in the way? Why do not you get this job settled now?

Mr. Butler

Our relations with Mexico are fully appreciated by His Majesty's Government, but this dispute raises rather more complicated questions.

Mr. Thorne

Is the Minister aware that it is necessary to have diplomatic relations, and why does he not restore them as quickly as possible?

Mr. Butler

I answered that question in the first part of my answer just now.