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Austrian Conversion Loan (Italian Default)

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1949

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42.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Italian Government are still defaulting on their guarantee to pay 20½5 per cent. on the drawn bonds of the Austrian Conversion Loan, 1934–59; and what steps he is taking to obtain repayment, in view of the fact that the United Kingdom Government is one of the guarantors of this loan.

Yes, Sir. The Italian Government's attitude was defined in the Press announcement of 13th July, 1948, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy. Since then there have been no developments. We shall continue to press the Italian Government to fulfil its obligations.

Can the Chancellor confirm that of the eight countries which guaranteed this loan, Italy and Czechoslovakia are the only two in default? Can he also confirm that Italy has quite enough sterling to her credit to fulfil her obligations?