§ 50. Sir Frank Sanderson
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the scheme put forward by the Mexican Government for the repayment of Mexican Government bonds; and, in view of the fact that the net result of the offer is to pay 15 per cent. to 20 per cent. only of the value at which the bonds were issued and, as our foreign investments are to-day of increasing importance, will he refuse to give sanction to the scheme which, whilst bad in itself, is harmful as a precedent?
§ 53. Professor Savory
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether He has considered the scheme for dealing with the Mexican debt; is he satisfied, seeing that the present moment is inopportune for the debtor State to write down the capital value of its obligations by 80 per cent. without proving details of its financial conditions, that the plan represents a fair proposal by Mexico; what steps he has taken to deal with it; and has he informed the Mexican authorities that the plan is distasteful to all concerned here?
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Kingsley Wood)
I am aware that an arrangement has recently been concluded between the Mexican Government and the International Committee of Bankers on Mexico; and that this contemplates the making of an offer of settlement to the holders of certain direct debts of the Mexican Government, of which it is estimated that a minority is held in this country. No offer has yet been made to the bondholders and until such an offer has been made and considered by the Council of Foreign Bondholders, His Majesty's Government would regard it as premature to consider the question of approaching the Mexican Government on the subject.
§ Sir F. Sanderson
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the terms offered constitute the writing down of what is, in effect, a national asset by no less than 80 per cent., and in view of the extreme necessity of conserving our foreign assets at the present time, does he not consider that any scheme should include the possibility of the debtor country being able to pay under more favourable conditions?
Mr. Graham White
Does my right hon. Friend consider that he has any duty to intervene in these matters which concern foreign Governments and private individuals in this country?
§ Sir H. Williams
Is it not the case that if the private individuals are successful the Chancellor will want to requisition their assets, and that therefore, he is very much concerned?