HC Deb 16 March 1937 vol 321 c1851
51. Major Braithwaite

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is the policy of the Government through the operation of the Exchange Equalisation Fund to raise prices of primary commodities to a remunerative level?

Mr. Chamberlain

No, Sir. It is in the opinion of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom as well as of the Governments of the rest of the British Commonwealth desirable that the prices of primary commodities should be at a remunerative level; but the Exchange Equalisation Fund is not an instrument which could be used for this purpose, its object being confined to obviating unnecessary exchange fluctuations.

53. Mr. Craven-Ellis

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Government are satisfied that the rise which has taken place in the wholesale price level since the memorandum of 27th July, 1933, was signed by the delegation of the British Commonwealth of Nations on monetary policy is, in their opinion, sufficient to warrant stabilisation; and, if not, will he say whether the price level of 1924, 1926, or any particular year, is intended to be reached before stabilisation takes effect?

Mr. Chamberlain

My hon. Friend is no doubt referring to stabilisation of the wholesale price level. I would refer him to paragraph 6 of the Declaration by the Delegations of the British Commonwealth, in which the delegates indicated that it was impracticable to do what he is asking from me, namely to state in precise terms the ultimate price level to be aimed at. The Declaration mentioned various factors to be taken into account, including the condition of industry and employment, and I do not think the time has come when I could add anything to that statement.