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Chile: Payments For Submarines

Volume 375: debated on Wednesday 20 October 1976

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether it is true that Chile is £16 million in arrears on its payments for two "Oberon" class submarines; what loss if any this has caused to public funds as a result of Export Credit Guarantees; and whether in this and similar cases where arms are supplied by commercial concerns in Britain to other countries a check is made whether those countries have genuine defence needs for complex weapons and the capacity to pay.

Under the United Kingdom/Chile Debt Agreements of 1972 and 1974 (Cmnd. 5209 and 5922) debts due from Chile to the United Kingdom maturing in 1972, 1973 and 1974 were re-scheduled. Payments under the bank loan for the submarines were included in those Agreements; currently there are no arrears in payments under that loan. Each request for the supply of arms to other countries is considered individually in the light of all relevant political, military, economic and strategic factors.