HC Deb 27 February 1953 vol 511 cc244-5W
Mr. Fort

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make a statement about the signature of the German Debt Agreement.

Mr. Nutting

I am glad to be able to inform the House that an international Agreement on German External Debts was signed in London this morning between Her Majesty's Government, the Governments of France, the United States and other creditor countries and the Government of the German Federal Republic. This Agreement is designed to give effect and international authority to the recommendations for the settlement of German pre-war external debts agreed between creditor and debtor representatives during the German Debt Conference, which took place in London last year. The report of the Conference, embodying these recommendations, was adopted on 8th August last and was laid before the House as a White Paper. This Report also set out the amounts and the terms of payment which Her Majesty's Government and the French and United States Governments were prepared to accept in full settlement of their claims in respect of post-war economic assistance to Germany, on condition that a satisfactory and equitable settlement of Germany's pre-war debts was achieved. In the opinion of Her Majesty's Government, such a settlement, has now been achieved by the Agreement on German External Debts. Her Majesty's Government have therefore also signed this morning a bilateral Agreement with the German Federal Government confirming the settlement terms for the United Kingdom claim in respect of post-war[...] economic assistance to Germany. Under this settlement, the United Kingdom will receive a total amount of £150 million, payable over 20 years, without interest, in equal annuities of £7½ million. Similar bilateral agreements with the German Federal Government were also signed by the representatives of the French and United States Governments. The Agreement on German External Debts will enter into force when it has been ratified by the Three Governments and by the German Federal Government. The texts of this Agreement and of the United Kingdom-German bilateral Agreement on the post-war debt are therefore being laid before Parliament immediately. Her Majesty's Government wish to place on record their appreciation of the work of the Tripartite Commission on German Debts, the United Kingdom member of which, Sir George Rendel, has signed these two Agreements on behalf of Her Majesty's Government. The Commission has represented the Three Governments throughout the preparation and negotiation of this vast and complex debt settlement and is to be congratulated on the successful conclusion of its task.