Great Britain and Mexico.

Oral Answers to Questions — Yugoslavia. – in the House of Commons on 2nd April 1941.

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Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action he intends taking to meet the wishes of the Mexican Government, as expressed in the recent official Mexican Government broadcast, intimating that the feeling towards the British had undergone a favourable change, and that they wanted a settlement of the difference between the two Governments?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

While I have been unable to trace the broadcast referred to by the hon. Member, I think the Mexican Government are aware that His Majesty's Government are ready to examine any proposals which the Mexican Government may put forward for a settlement of outstanding differences.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Is it not a fact that the Shell Oil Company is the company that is standing in the way of the Government making a settlement?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

The real difficulty is that so far we have not had terms put to us on which a settlement could be made.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Is it not desirable in present circumstances that we should not wait for advances by other Governments, but make approaches to them?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

This is a very complicated and difficult question, and does really depend upon the terms for a proper settlement being put forward. If they are put forward, I can assure the hon. Member that they will be considered.

Photo of Mr Robert Gibson Mr Robert Gibson , Greenock

Might not the United States Government act as an intermediary in this matter, to the advantage of the Mexican Government and ourselves?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

All these matters have been under consideration. The United States have an interest in the matter, and so have we. I think it would be better if terms were put forward so that we could consider them. We are in touch with the United States Government.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker:

There are 96 Questions on the Order Paper.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will approach the Government of the United States of America with a view to opening negotiations to take the Mexican Government's external debt out of the hands of the International Committee of Bankers on Mexico, in order to settle the matter in some fair manner directly between His Majesty's Government and the American Government on the one hand, and the Mexican Government on the other?

Mr. Butter:

The International Committee of Bankers on Mexico is recognised by the Council of Foreign Bondholders and by His Majesty's Government as being, in the special circumstances of the case, the most appropriate body to protect the interests of holders of Mexican external indebtedness. The Committee has conducted prolonged negotiations with the Mexican Government and has concluded a number of agreements, which unfortunately are not now being implemented by the Mexican Government. It does not appear to His Majesty's Government, who attach great importance to a fair settlement of the Mexican external debt, and who keep the matter under constant review, that any useful purpose would be served by the course of action suggested by the hon. Member.