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Public Debt (Interest Payments)

Volume 722: debated on Tuesday 14 December 1965

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asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations why, although by virtue of the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 he has power to direct the payment of interest on Rhodesian public debt in this country, he has permitted default.

Though the Government of the United Kingdom have been given certain powers to enable them to ensure the lawful Government of Southern Rhodesia, including the power to make laws and in certain cases to exercise, or control the exercise of, executive powers in Southern Rhodesia, they have not assumed the government of that country and have not in any way succeeded either to the assets or to the liabilities of the Government of Southern Rhodesia. It is not for the British Government to intervene in a situation where interest payments of Rhodesian public debt in this country have been stopped as a result of the illegal actions of Mr. Smith and his colleagues on 11th November.