§ 52. Mr. LAMBERT
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether speculative attacks on sterling have been checked by the Exchange Equalisation Account, and whether it is the policy of the Government to allow the gold value of sterling to find its level without artificial restriction or aid?
I am unable to say to what extent speculation in the exchange exists; but I have no doubt that the reserves of foreign currency in this account act as a deterrent against the activities of speculators. As regards the second part of the question, the purpose of the Exchange Equalisation Account is to prevent excessive fluctuations in the value of the currency. It was never intended, as I explained in my Budget speech, to attempt to keep the exchange at a fixed point or to maintain it within a fixed range of values in opposition to seasonal or other tendencies.
§ Mr. THORNE
Has the right hon. Gentleman any means of strangling these speculators, in the same way as they are strangling the country?
Does not the right hon Gentleman think that as long as people gamble it will be very difficult to strangle speculators?
§ 60. Colonel WEDGWOOD
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has been informed as to whether the Exchange Equalisation Account shows a profit to date, taking into account the present price of sterling?
I regret that I cannot undertake to furnish information of this kind respecting the operations of the Account.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I did not ask for information, but whether the right hon. Gentleman had been informed as to whether there was a profit or not?
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer say if he has himself been informed as to what profit has been made?
§ 62. Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is satisfied as to the adequacy of the Sterling Equalisation Fund or whether he anticipates it will be necessary to introduce any changes in the near future?
§ Mr. SOMERVILLE
In view of the recent sharp rise in sterling, can my right hon. Friend say whether this Fund has been depleted?