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British Financial Aid

Volume 414: debated on Monday 15 October 1945

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Burma the nature and extent of the financial assistance granted to the Government of Burma; whether that Government has any call on the depots of S.E.A.C. in India or any authority to purchase directly in the Indian market; and will he make a comprehensive statement.

His Majesty's Government have agreed to make advances to the Government of Burma for a period of two years, subject to certain safeguards which that Government have accepted. The greater part of these advances will be used to purchase capital equipment and consumer goods. Expenditure on consumer goods should be quickly repayable. Expenditure on capital equipment for restarting mills, river transport and so forth will also be recoverable as soon as the businesses concerned are in a position to pay for it. The net amount outstanding will be treated as a loan to the Government of Burma free of interest and with no fixed date of repayment. I am unable to give any reliable estimate of the amount likely to be involved since this must depend on prices and availabilities as well as the speed of economic recovery. The Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia, has offered to afford to the Civil Government as much help as he can from military resources, due regard being paid to his other commitments in the recently enlarged South East Asia theatre. The Government of Burma have authority to purchase in the Indian Market, subject to certain conditions including the agreement of the Government of India as to availability; and action is being taken with a view to such procurement.