HC Deb 22 April 1941 vol 371 c23
46. Sir Percy Hurd

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the confusion arising from differences of meaning of the word "billion" on the two sides of the Atlantic; and whether, in view of our new economic intimacy, he will confer with the Governments of the United States of America and Canada, so as to obtain uniformity in this matter.

The Prime Minister

The word "billion" has, it is true, different, or alternative, meanings on the opposite sides of the Atlantic, but I do not think this has led to any difficulties in accounting. For all practical financial purposes a billion represents one thousand millions, especially in the case of anything we owe.

Sir P. Hurd

Is it not a fact that the confusion is likely to be increased as a result of the new relations between Canada, the United States and ourselves?

The Prime Minister

I have noted the point.