Oral Answers to Questions — Reparations and War Debts.

– in the House of Commons on 4th February 1932.

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Photo of Sir Philip Dawson Sir Philip Dawson , Lewisham West

43.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can give the amount received up to the end of last year on account of war indemnity and reparations in cash and in kind from Germany by France and Great Britain, respectively; and whether he can state the amount owing to Great Britain by France at the end of the War; how much of this was given up by Great Britain; and the amount of French loans floated in Great Britain during the War?

Photo of Mr Walter Elliot Mr Walter Elliot , Glasgow Kelvingrove

As the answer contains a number of figures I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The total amount of German reparation in cash and in kind received by France and the United Kingdom respectively, excluding receipts on account of costs of armies of occupation, etc., and ceded properties, have been as follows:

France£273,000,000
United Kingdom£121,000,000

The figures have been taken from the Reparation Commission's accounts 'and conversion into sterling has been calculated at the old par of exchange.

The net amount of the French War Debt to this country, as at the date of funding, was £600,000,000. The funding agreement represents, on a 5 per cent. basis, a remission of 62 per cent. of the debt, or £372,000,000.

The French Government market loans floated during the War in the United Kingdom amounted, at the then rate of exchange, to about £60,000,000.

Photo of Mr William Stewart Mr William Stewart , Belfast South

44.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give details of purchases from the United States of America during the War showing, respectively, the quantities and qualities of munitions and other materials purchased and similarly of foodstuffs purchased, together with their respective unit prices then and the relative prices to-day; and how the capital sum due was arrived at?

Photo of Mr Walter Elliot Mr Walter Elliot , Glasgow Kelvingrove

It would not be possible within the compass of a reply to a Parliamentary question to give a detailed statement of British purchases from the United States of America during the War, but the hon. Member will find a summarised statement in the War Debts supplement published by the "Economist" newspaper, on the 23rd January, 1932 (pages 4 and 5). The average wholesale price index in the United States of America over the period when the goods were purchased (April, 1917, to November, 1918) was 189, and the corresponding index in October, 1931, was 103.4. In other words the purchasing value of the United States dollar has risen by 83 per cent. since the debt was incurred.

Photo of Mr William Stewart Mr William Stewart , Belfast South

Can the right hon. Gentleman not put the answer in a better form for us? He has given a. very expansive kind of answer, and we want to get it in better form.