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French Loans (British Investors)

Volume 244: debated on Tuesday 11 November 1930

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has now seen the French Government's reply concerning the repayment of French national defence loan bonds held by British investors; and if he can make some statement on the subject?

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given on the 5th November to the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Captain P. Macdonald), to which I have at present nothing to add.

Are we to understand that the right hon. Gentleman has still not seen the reply of the French Government?

Of course, I have seen the reply. The question to which I have referred the hon. Member asked if I had received a reply, and, if so, whether I could state its nature. I had not at that time seen the reply, but I have since seen it, and, as hon. Members are aware, it is not favourable. I am at the moment considering what further action should be taken.

Is it not a fact that when these loans were issued the franc was legally based on gold, and that in France that law was only repealed in 1922

The hon. Member is going into the particulars of the whole question. That does not arise out of the question on the Order Paper. I may, however, say that, substantially, the position is as the hon. Member has stated it, and that is the basis of the representation that we have made.