HC Deb 06 October 1942 vol 383 cc1076-7
61. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the number of shares held or controlled by enemy Governments or companies or subjects in the Bank for International Settlements; and whether he will consider putting the bank upon the black list?

Sir K. Wood

It is not possible to say what the present holdings are, but on the basis of the original subscription it may be estimated that such holdings were approximately 50 per cent. In reply to the second part of the Question, I have consulted my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade and my Noble Friend the Minister of Economic Warfare, and we are agreed that the bank should not be put on the statutory list. As I have informed the House, I am satisfied that the bank conducts its affairs on the basis of strict neutrality.

Mr. Stokes

Does the answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer mean that he will not say or that it is not possible to say?

Sir K. Wood

That it is not possible to say.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Is it not a fact that by Act of Parliament no industrial relationships were allowed to be retained during war-time, and if that is so should not that be applied in this case?

Sir K. Wood

We are carrying out the policy which has already been stated.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask for your Ruling on this point? Last week I offered to the Table a Question concerning the Bank for International Settlements, and I was not allowed to hand it in because it was said this subject was to be raised upon the Adjournment. I now see another Question on the same matter on the Order Paper, before any discussion on the subject has taken place. May I ask what is the Rule in this matter?

Mr. Speaker

I shall have to look into the point which the hon. Member has put to me.