HC Deb 13 March 1967 vol 743 cc34-5
33. Sir W. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is now the position concerning negotiations about the Hungarian and Roumanian bonded debts; and whether the recent visit of Mr. Kosygin and the Prime Minister of Estonia to this country, which brought about an agreement concerning Baltic bonds, has affected discussions about the repayment of these other debts by countries allied with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Mr. George Thomson

Exchanges are continuing about the Hungarian bonded debt. On the Roumanian bonded debt, I have nothing to add to my reply on 30th January. There is no connection between these negotiations and those with the Soviet Government.—[Vol. 740, c. 13.]

Sir W. Teeling

If Mr. Kosygin, coming here, sees that it is quite practical to pay off Baltic bonds and come to some kind of agreement in order to pay them, why cannot we persuade the Hungarians and Roumanians to do the same? The French, the Germans and the Swiss are doing so. The right hon. Gentleman told me recently that the whole idea was to have some kind of a package deal for the Roumanians. I gather that half of the package deal was dealt with a few days ago, but what has happened to the rest?

Mr. Thomson

Her Majesty's Government have tried to make progress on all these debt questions since then, and we hope to report progress we have been able to make on the Soviet debt question. I can assure the hon. Gentleman, whose interest in this matter I know, that he must not take the length of the discussions on the Hungarian debt to mean that there is no prospect of a successful outcome.