4. Mr. WEST RUSSELL
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the self-constituted 1042 international and American committee of loan houses dealing with the default of the Mexican Government has never been accepted by the unorganised body of British investors as representing them; and, since that committee has, during 18 years, obtained no redress for them beyond some small sums, will he now recognise the right of British investors to be represented by a British Government official delegated to negotiate on their behalf with the Mexican authorities about the proposal to extend the default further to 1934?
§ Sir J. SIMON
I am fully aware that the International Committee of Bankers have no mandate from British bondholders to conclude an agreement, and that in consequence the agreement which was arrived at in December last between the Committee and the Mexican Government only constitutes terms which the individual bondholders can accept if they so desire. When the time comes to put the new agreement into force, the bondholders will, it is understood, be requested by the committee, as was done previously, to deposit their bonds, thereby indicating their approval of the terms of the agreement. If they do not choose to accept these terms, they will be free to negotiate individually with the Mexican Govermnent. I do not consider that intervention on behalf of the British bondholders alone would at the present moment lead to any more tangible result than has already been obtained by the International Committee. Such action might indeed, on the other hand, have the effect of nullifying such advantages as the bondholders have already been able to secure through the intervention of that body and of which they will be able eventually to avail themselves, should they so desire. I must add that it would not be practicable for His Majesty's Government to intervene on behalf of individual bondholders.
With regard to the second part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the second part of the reply given to my hon. Friend, the Member for the City of Chester (Sir C. Cayzer) on the 21st March, and to the first part of the reply given to my Noble Friend, the Member for Perth (Duchess of Atholl) on the 29th February.