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British Guiana (Loan).

Oral Answers to Questions — Post Office. – in the House of Commons on 25th May 1922.

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Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

61.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether British Guiana is coming on the money market for a loan; whether the British Government are to guarantee the loan; if not, will he make it clear whether or not the Colonial Office consider themselves bound by a statement of the right hon. Joseph Chamberlain to the effect that, guarantee or no, this country could not allow any Crown Colony to default in interest on their loans and, if they do hold with Mr. Chamberlain's dictum, will he, by a clear and definite guarantee, enable the loan to be floated on better terms both for the Colony and for the British taxpayer?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

Yes, Sir; the Government of British Guiana recently called locally for tenders for a loan for 50 years of £1,000,000 at 5½ per cent., and has accepted a tender at 96. This loan is not guaranteed by His Majesty's Government. British Guiana is not a Crown Colony, and accordingly the latter part of the question does not arise.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Does the statement made by the late Mr. Joseph Chamberlain in reference to the Crown Colonies apply here?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

British Guiana is a Colony which has a legislature responsible for the proper control of its own affairs, and therefore stands in a slightly different position to the other Colonies we have control over or have to deal with.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

May we take it from that that there is no sort of implied guarantee resting upon this country for whatever loans British Guiana may itself raise either now or in the future?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

That is what I said. I hope, nevertheless, that this colony, which is in a backward state, will get support and that the money will be raised to help the colony to help itself, but this will not be aided by its credit being unduly cried down by the hon. and gallant Gentleman.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Is it not the duty of the right hon. Gentleman to look after the credit of this country? May I ask, if the loan has been completed, why he should make these aspersions, which are absolutely unwarranted, upon an hon. Member of this House?