Count Volpi, representing the Italian Debt Funding Commission in London,
seems to have made a very meagre offer. The Trilmna states that he offered an annual payment of only £.5,000,000. Whether this is true or not it seems certain that the Italian offer is well below the £11,000,000 which is required if the British. tax- payer is really to be relieved of the burden which he has been-bearing on behalf of Italy. We should have thought' that an annual payment of 18,000,000 or £9,000,000 was the lowest that the British Government could accept. Even then we should be serious losers. A special corres- pondent of the Manchester Guardian suggests that the Government might take the view that if Italy cannot offer a reasonable amount it would be better to regard the negotiations as a failure. Even to talk of failure is to call the attention of Italy to the gravity of the occasion, as the funding of this debt is one of the items necessary for the stabilization of the lira.
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