HC Deb 25 May 1922 vol 154 cc1437-8W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether His Majesty's Government has considered the adoption of the French system of expressing approval or disapproval of fresh loans in the case of foreign Governments which have already defaulted in their obligations to British investors; and, if not, whether, in view of the large sums of money now leaving the country, he is prepared to consider the desirability of adopting the system?


I would refer the hon. Member to my answer of the 10th instant to the hon. Member for the West Houghton Division of Lancashire (Mr. Rhys J. Davies). I should like, if I may, to add that the phrase in the question about large sums of money leaving the country contains an implication which I cannot agree with. If this country is to provide employment for its population, it is, in my opinion, essential that we should continue our old-standing practice of lending money to sound borrowers outside the United Kingdom in the confident belief that, directly or indirectly, the proceeds of such loans will in fact go out of the country in the shape of British goods and British services, besides yielding to the lenders a return on their money in the form of a claim upon the future production of the borrowing countries.

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