§ 29. Mr. CRAVEN-ELLIS
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether His Majesty's Government is using the Exchange Equalisation Fund to create an artificial value of sterling abroad in order to return to the Gold Standard; and what steps are being taken to safeguard the taxpayers against loss arising out of the purchase of foreign exchange?
No, Sir. The purpose of the Exchange Equalisation Account is to correct temporary fluctuations in the exchange value of sterling. It has not been used to create an artificial value for sterling for the purpose of returning to the Gold Standard or for any other purpose, and as there is a good deal of misunderstanding on this matter I should perhaps add that it would in my opinion be ineffective if so used. In reply to the last part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the discussions which took place during the passage of the Exchange Equalisation Account Bill and Finance Bill last year.
§ Mr. CRAVEN-ELLIS
In view of the equalisation fund that has been created in America, is there any likelihood of competition between our Equalisation Fund and the equalisation fund of America?
We had better wait and see what the operation of the fund in America is likely to be.
§ Mr. THORNE
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the £350,000,000 is still in the Equalisation Fund.
§ Mr. D. GRENFELL
Is not the existence of the new American equalisation fund an added reason why the conversations between us and America should be expedited?
§ Mr. GRENFELL
Regarding currency and regarding our mutual obligation; are there no conversations now in prospect?