§ Mrs. Nichol
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on the conclusion of a financial agreement between this country and France.
§ Mr. Dalton
An Agreement was signed yesterday. The French Government will repay the outstanding balance of the advances granted to them by His Majesty's Government under Article 1 of the Financial Agreement of 27th March, 1945, in 12 equal annual instalments beginning on the 1st September, 1950. After taking into account the payment by the French Government of £50 million in gold, the sum remaining due is £99,188,750. Interest at ½ per cent. will be charged on the principal.
The Agreement also provides for the continuation of the sales to His Majesty's Government of sterling securities requisitioned by the French Government from French subjects resident in France. The 109W proceeds will, however, henceforth be used to finance current French payments to the sterling area instead of for reimbursement of the French Government's debt.
Certain financial claims which the two Governments have against one another, arising from the war and immediate postwar period, will be set off. The French Government have undertaken to repay any net balance due by them to His Majesty's Government in two equal instalments on 1st September, 1950, and 1st September, 1951. The text of the Agreement will be presented to Parliament and copies will be available in the Vote Office shortly.