HC Deb 06 February 1951 vol 483 c1532
53. Mr. Teeling

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps His Majesty's Government have taken to induce the Czechoslovak Government to fulfil their obligations in respect of their guarantee to pay their share of the 4½ per cent. Austrian Government Guaranteed Conversion Loan, 1934–1959, entered into in the Trade and Financial Agreement signed in London by the British and the Czechoslovaks on 28th September, 1949.

Mr. Gaitskell

The Czechoslovak Government's obligations in respect of this loan arise not from Trade and Financial Agreement with His Majesty's Government, but from the guarantee which they gave through the Trustees to the bondholders when the loan was issued in 1934. In reply to repeated protests, the Czechoslovak Government have maintained the view expressed in 1949, to the effect that their guarantee was conditional on the continued operation of certain measures of international control over the Austrian Government's finances, which have lapsed. His Majesty's Government have rejected this contention entirely, but have taken all possible steps in the course of negotiations on the subject of Austria to secure a solution of the wider problem of Austria's foreign indebtedness.

Mr. Teeling

In view of the coming trade negotiations, in or about May I believe, with Czechoslovakia, will the Government try to bear this particular point in mind and do all they can to see that Czechoslovakia this time pays what it has not hitherto paid?

Mr. Gaitskell

We will certainly lose no opportunity of pressing this particular point upon the Czech Government.

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