Oral Answers to Questions — Malayan and Hong Kong Loans (Payment of Interest).

– in the House of Commons on 5th August 1942.

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Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, in view of the fact that the assets of the Malayan Governments in Great Britain exceed£70,000,000, what justification there is for the continued delay in the payment of interest on the various Malayan War Loans, Saving Certificates and municipal bonds to persons resident outside territory occupied by the enemy?

Major Cazalet:

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether His Majesty's Government will assume responsibility for the payment of interest on Federated Malay States and Straits Settlements War Loans, in view of the fact that the entire proceeds of these loans were placed at the disposal of His Majesty's Government for the prosecution of the war?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

Interest payments on the sterling loans issued in London will be met as a matter of obligation. As regards the local dollar borrowings of the Malayan Governments and municipalities, and also of the Hong Kong Government, the obligation is to meet the services of such loans locally in the local currencies, and holders have no legal claim to be paid elsewhere or in any other currency. But in order to avoid hardship His Majesty's Government have decided that, subject to certain reservations, interest shall be paid out of the resources here which are available to the representatives of the respective borrowing authorities. These payments can only be ex gratia and subject to adjustment in any particular case if this is subsequently found to be necessary. Such payments will be made to individuals in British or Allied territory and to organisations and corporations which have no establishments in enemy or enemy occupied territory. Notice of the detailed arrangements affecting stock holders will be published shortly.

Major Cazalet:

If any of these people have lost everything, will my right hon. Friend see that these payments are expedited?