HC Deb 03 July 1972 vol 840 cc24-5
24. Mr. Dykes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he intends to take to safeguard British assets in Ghana following the unilateral repudiation of debts owed to private firms by the new Ghanaian Administration.

Mr. Kershaw

The discussions to which I referred in my answer on 13th March to my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) are continuing. Her Majesty's Government are convinced that a negotiated settlement of the debts question will help to safeguard British assets in Ghana.—[Vol. 833, c. 21.]

Mr. Dykes

Does my hon. Friend expect a realistic answer in gross on the total amount of assets to be settled with the Ghanaian Government?

Mr. Kershaw

The High Commissioner is in close touch with the Ghanaian Government about these debts and the problems of British firms. We hope that a settlement will be arrived at in due course. I cannot give the exact amount of the debts of private firms in Ghana.

Mr. Foley

Will the Minister say when these discussions will reach a conclusion? Have they not already been going on for over two years?

Mr. Kershaw

No, they have not been going on for over two years, because the Ghanaian Government repudiated the debt only last February. We have been discussing it since then.