HL Deb 10 December 1940 vol 118 cc63-4

My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Addison, I beg leave to ask His Majesty's Government a question of which he has given private notice—namely, whether their attention has been drawn to the financial assistance which the United States Government propose to give to China, and whether His Majesty's Government have under consideration the grant of similar assistance for China's sterling needs.


My Lords, the United States Government announced on November 30 their intention of extending to the Government of China large credits for strengthening the United States dollar resources available to the Chinese monetary authorities and for other purposes. His Majesty's Government, for their part, having regard to the importance of their financial and economic relations with China, have now decided to grant further financial assistance to that country. It is, of course, necessary for His Majesty's Government to conserve their gold and dollar assets for the essential war needs of the sterling area, and they cannot offer to China United States dollars or sterling which is convertible into United States dollars. Provided, however, that suitable arrangements can be made to ensure that sterling held in China is available only for use in the sterling area, His Majesty's Government are prepared in principle to make an advance of £5,000,000 to the Chinese Stabilisation Fund, and, with the concurrence of the Dominion Governments concerned, to grant credits which will be available for purchases in any part of the sterling area within a maximum of a further £5,000,000. This decision has been communicated to the Chinese Government with a request that they will make arrangements for the early negotiation of the preliminary technical agreement on which the possibility of these further sterling credits depends.


My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend, I should like to thank the Foreign Secretary for his statement. It was not clear what is the total amount involved. Is it £10,000,000?




On behalf of my noble friend and my Party—we have already discussed this matter—may I say that the statement of His Majesty's Government is very welcome?

Back to