Britain's Treasury chief advised Brazil to work out its crushing debt problem with creditor banks and suggested that the Latin American country needed a ''convincing economic program," the Treasury said.
Brazil's finance minister, Dilson Funaro, and Francisco Gros, head of the central bank, were in London Monday meeting British cabinet officials and Robin Leigh-Pemberton, head of the Bank of England, on a mission to explain Brazil's decision to suspend interest payments on bank debt.Later Monday the Brazilians were to depart for Paris, and they also are to visit Rome and Cologne, West Germany, passing on the same message they gave in Washington last week where they called for changes in the international monetary system to help debtor nations.
British banks hold about $4.4 billion of loans to Brazil, which has stopped paying interest on $68 billion of its $109 billion foreign debt, the most of any developing country.
The Brazilians first called on Nigel Lawson, chancellor of the exchequer, whose office said pointedly that Mr. Funaro had requested the meeting.
"The chancellor made clear that negotiations on debts with commercial banks are a matter for the commercial banks themselves," the Treasury said in a statement after the half-hour meeting.