§ The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)
I rise with your permission, Mr. Speaker, and the leave of 1325 the House, to make a brief statement on the China loan agreement which was signed yesterday, as I wish to give the information to the House before it is made public.
A formal agreement was signed yesterday on the subject of the loan by His Majesty's Government to China of up to £50,000,000. Under the terms of the agreement, which carries out the offer made by His Majesty's Government to the Chinese Government some time ago, up to £50,000,000 will be available for the financing of goods and services required by China in the sterling area for purposes arising out of the war. A second agreement, covering the provision of arms, munitions and military equipment on Lend-Lease terms by the United Kingdom to China, was signed at the same time. Pending the signature of the agreements, the cost of goods and services required by China from the sterling area for war purposes has been met from earlier British credits, and munitions have been provided on lend-lease terms in anticipation of the present agreement. The limit of our assistance to China remains, as always, one of transport and not one of finance.
I am sure that the House will share my satisfaction that those agreements have now been concluded and that in this as in other ways we have made manifest our desire to give all the help to China that lies within our power.
While expressing satisfaction at the signing of these agreements, may I ask whether there is any improvement in the air transport position in order that China may take as much advantage as possible of the terms of the agreements?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
That is not a reply to my question. What security have the Chinese Government offered?
§ Mr. A. Edwards
What kind of things are purchased out of the Aid-to-China Fund, that would not be obtainable under this arrangement?
§ Mr. Edwards
Are there any things available to China under the arrangements just announced, which would not be available under the Aid-to-China Fund?
§ Sir Irving Albery
May I ask whether on the present occasion, as on the former, the United States are making any similar loan to China?
§ Mr. Gallacher
In negotiating this loan was anything said about lifting the blockade in the Communist area and supplying arms to the Communist armies, which are among the best in China?
Could the Foreign Secretary explain how this arrangement differs from the ordinary operation of Lend-Lease and Mutual Aid between Allies?