HC Deb 11 February 1941 vol 368 cc1225-6
45. Mr. Pethick-Lawrence

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his attention has been called to a recent case in which an individual was convicted of an offence against the Defence (Finance) Regulations for arranging for his wife to receive funds in Canada from a person for whose benefit he agreed to make a sterling payment in this country; and whether lie is satisfied that the regulations are adequate to prevent this and similar types of abuse?

Sir K. Wood

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for having put this Question, which gives me an opportunity of making a general statement on the position. Every resident who goes outside the sterling area, otherwise than on national service or on business of national importance, is required before going to sign a declaration that he will not have any funds remitted, either directly or indirectly, from this country for his maintenance abroad, and will not seek to divert dollar income which would have been surrendered to the Treasury had he remained in this country. So far as I am aware, the Regulations are adequate to prevent any attempts to evade these stipulations, and I am advised that it is an offence—for which heavy penalties are laid down—for a resident in this country to utilise foreign currency which he should surrender for the maintenance of his wife or family outside the sterling area, or to procure foreign currency for this purpose either by promising repayment at a later date (e.g. when the currency restrictions are lifted) or by undertaking to make a payment in this country on behalf of a resident abroad or by other similar devices. I would emphasise that such arrangements deprive the nation of currency assets, notwithstanding the fact that at first glance no money appears to leave the country. I need hardly say these provisions will be most strictly enforced.