HC Deb 17 November 1958 vol 595 cc111-2W
Mr. Arbuthnot

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he will make a statement regarding an official proposal for a grant of financial assistance to the Government of India.

Mr. Alport

At the end of August a meeting in Washington arranged by the International Bank, at which the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Japan and the United States were represented, worked out proposals, on certain premises about India's future policies, for covering her foreign exchange deficit up to the end of March, 1959. During the visit of the Indian Finance Minister to this country in September my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer discussed with him arrangements for making available the sum of approximately £38½ million which the United Kingdom Government have offered to contribute as part of this general plan. Of this it has been decided that £10 million should take the form of an accelerated payment of the annual instalments due to India in 1962 and 1963 and part of that due in 1964, in respect of pensions. Letters have been exchanged with the Government of India and a Statutory Instrument under the Pensions (India, Pakistan and Burma) Act, 1955, will be laid shortly. The balance of the assistance, namely £28½ million, will be in the form of a credit under Section 3 of the Export Guarantees Act, 1949. Discussions with the Government of India regarding the operation of this credit are in progress.

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