HL Deb 13 December 1945 vol 138 cc673-4WA

asked His Majesty's Government whether there is any information concerning the amount, rate of interest and any condition attached to the loan of the United. States to France.


I assume that the noble Lord refers to the agreement concluded in February, 1945, between France and the United States under Section 3 (C) of the Lend Lease Act. The maximum aid to be furnished to France under this agreement is specified in two schedules.

Schedule 1: Schedule 1 includes raw materials for war use and essential civilian supply; food, petroleum supplies, French prisoner of war supplies, short life manufacturing equipment for war production and freight charges. The estimated cost is $1,675,000,000. After the date of a determination by the President of the U.S.A. that these goods are no longer necessary for the prosecution of the war, France may acquire any undelivered balances subject to the agreement of the President. Such items are to be paid for by the French in 30 annual instalments beginning July1, 1946, or on the first day of July following delivery, with interest at 2⅜per cent. per annum.

Schedule 2: Schedule 2 concerns long life capital goods with a war connected use, the estimated maximum cost being $900 million. The French have agreed to pay for these goods in full, against 20 per cent. down payment on delivery, and the balance in equal annual instalments within a period not exceeding thirty years. Interest is at 2⅜ per cent. per annum. The terms for the supply of Schedule 2 goods result from the fact that while these goods were important for war purposes they had also considerable post-war utility.

The programmes under these two schedules are subject to periodic review. A loan of $550 million on corresponding terms has recently been negotiated by the French with the United States Export Import Bank for the purpose of financing the expenditure covered in these two schedules. There have been reports in the Press of a further loan to be granted through the United States Export and Import Bank on similar terms for an amount of $525 million, but this is so far unconfirmed.