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Buenos Aires Transport Corporation

Volume 463: debated on Monday 28 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how often, since 14th March, the British Ambassador in Buenos Aires has contacted the Argentine Government on the subject of compensation for British shareholders in the Buenos Aires Transport Corporation; what reply he has received from the Argentine Government; and whether he has made clear to the Argentine Government that if discussions on this matter are not opened before the liquidation of assets date, namely, 12th April, it will have a definite bearing on the new trade agreement negotiations.

As to the first part of the Question, I have nothing to add to the replies given to the hon. Member on previous occasions. As to the second part of the Question, His Majesty's Ambassador has raised the question of adequate compensation for the British shareholders during the course of the current trade agreement negotiations. I am not in a position to forecast what the outcome will be.

In view of the fact that the Ambassador must be seeing these Ministers almost every day in connection with the trade agreements, can he not ask for a polite reply—for some kind of reply—about whether they intend to open negotiations or not?

I can only say that this has been raised during the negotiations. I do not think that while the negotiations are on I should te the hands of the Ambassador in any way.