HC Deb 06 November 1962 vol 666 cc57-8W
Mr. Oram

asked the Lord Privy Seal what action Her Majesty's Government intend to take following the request of the Argentine Government for financial assistance.

Mr. Heath

Her Majesty's Government have agreed, subject to the approval of Parliament, to co-operate with other European creditors in giving assistance to the Argentine Government, designed to reduce the burden of Argentine external debts to Europe. It has been agreed in principle that, subject to the approval of Argentina's economic programme by the International Monetary Fund, assistance will be given in the years 1963 and 1964 by the principal European creditor countries. This assistance will be equal to 50 per cent. of the amount of the principal of certain debts falling due during those years and owing to those countries on account of commercial suppliers' credits. The probable amount of assistance to be provided by the United Kingdom, calculated on the basis of such figures as are at present available, lies somewhere between £8 million and £10 million, to be advanced over the next two years. The exact terms of the agreement are to be the subject of bilateral negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom.

As an additional measure of assistance by the principal European creditors, 15 million dollars of the next payments due to them on account of debts consolidated under Agreements made in 1957 and 1961 will be deferred from 1963 to 1966. The United Kingdom share of this sum is about £875,000.