HL Deb 26 January 1954 vol 185 c412

2.37 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they can state in round figures the amount of the debt owing by the United Kingdom to the United States at the conclusion on the 1939–45 war; in general terms, on what account that debt was incurred; and what amount of the debt has since been repaid by the United Kingdom to the United States.]


My Lords, if I may assume for the purposes of this Question that the war came to an end on V.J. Day—that is, August 15, 1945—the position at that date was as follows. There was an outstanding loan contracted by Her Majesty's Government from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation under the Agreement of July 21, 1941, for a sum of 274 million dollars. This has now been repaid. There was also a liability to repay the United States 88 million ounces of silver. Repayment was to be made in kind within a period which has now been determined as ending on April 28, 1957. No payment has yet been made. Under a Joint Statement of December 6, 1945, Her Majesty's Government assumed a liability of 532 million dollars in respect of Lease-Lend and Reciprocal Aid. This figure was subsequently increased to cover items arising after August 15 by 90 million dollars. This gives a total debt of 622 million dollars, of which 43 million dollars had been repaid by December 31, 1953, leaving 579 million dollars still outstanding on January 1, 1954.


I thank the noble Earl for his Answer.