Mr. Creech Jones
asked the Undersecretary of State for Dominion Affairs, whether the gratitude of the British Government has been expressed to the people of Newfoundland for their generous gifts to the British war effort; and whether consideration can be given to the suggestion that the Dominion should now conserve her financial surpluses and develop her financial and economic resources with a view to meeting any possible future depression and the cost of a sound programme of social and economic development?
§ Mr. Shakespeare
The Newfoundland Government in their recent Budget have made provision for a gift of 500,000 dollars for the purchase of aircraft and 475W propose to devote the sum of 2,300,000 dollars from the Budget surpluses of the last and the present financial year towards interest-free loans to His Majesty's Government. The Secretary of State has informed the Newfoundland Government, in a message which the Governor has been asked to publish locally, that His Majesty's Government congratulate Newfoundland on the striking achievement reflected in the Budget figures and deeply appreciate their generous financial help. They regard these valuable and highly welcome contributions to our financial resources as a further proof of the loyal determination of the people of Newfoundland to assist to the utmost in the struggle for freedom against tyranny in which the whole Empire is engaged. As regards the second part of the Question, the loans which the Newfoundland Government are making to His Majesty's Government will be repayable at short notice and will therefore constitute a reserve available when required for the purposes mentioned by the hon. Member.