Oral Answers to Questions — Hungary (Bonded Debt)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd August 1965.

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Photo of Mr Luke Teeling Mr Luke Teeling , Brighton, Pavilion 12:00 am, 2nd August 1965

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in his recent talks with the Hungarian Foreign Minister, he discussed the question of the repayment of the Hungarian Bonded Debt as he discussed the Baltic Bonds negotiation with Mr. Gromyko on the latter's visit; and whether he will make a statement on the negotiations now going on with Hungary over this problem.

Photo of Mr Walter Padley Mr Walter Padley , Ogmore

Yes, Sir. We—the Foreign Secretary and I—made clear to the Hungarian Foreign Minister our interest in a settlement of this matter. Further exploratory discussions have recently taken place with the Hungarians and talks are expected to be resumed later in the year.

Photo of Mr Luke Teeling Mr Luke Teeling , Brighton, Pavilion

Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that, while these discussions are going on, the Hungarian Government and their citizens are perfectly capable of purchasing these shares on the Stock Exchange in London for about a quarter of what their value will be after the agreement has been reached and that we will not be getting the money which is so badly needed in this country? Could he assure the House, therefore, that we are pressing on very hard and that, after the Foreign Ministers' discussion with their Foreign Minister, we have continued discussions?

Photo of Mr Walter Padley Mr Walter Padley , Ogmore

I can give the hon. Gentleman that assurance. There will be a meeting, it appears, in the autumn. The reply to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question is that I am afraid that that is inherent in the situation.