HC Deb 06 July 1944 vol 401 cc1304-5
44. Captain Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for India what is the amount of the sterling balances standing to the credit of India; what was the position at the outbreak of the war; and if he is prepared to issue a comprehensive statement showing how these balances have been accumulated.

The Secretary of State for India (Mr. Amery)

As regards the first and second parts of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir I. Albery) on 13th June. As regards the third part, I am, as I informed the hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. G. Nicholson) on 8th June, keeping the matter under consideration. But the preparation of a comprehensive analysis, suitable for publication, would require a great deal of work both here and in India and would involve considerable difficulties partly of a technical character and partly arising from the confidential character of some of the material concerned.

Captain Gammans

Does not the right hon. Gentleman feel that it is time that the people of this country realised the extent to which these sterling credits are going to affect our reconstruction here at home?

Mr. Amery

I think that the figures given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer clearly show that.

Mr. Shinwell

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has observed that the subject of India's sterling balances has been raised in the International Monetary Conference at Bretton Woods; and can he say under whose authority that subject was raised, as we understood that it was strictly confined to international monetary agreement?

Mr. Amery

Yes, Sir, so I understand, but I was not aware that it had been raised, and if my hon. Friend will give me the necessary information, I will look into it.

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