HC Deb 06 February 1945 vol 407 cc1909-10
61. Mr. Douglas

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has any statement to make on his talks with the French Minister of Finance.

Sir J. Anderson

I took the opportunity of the recent visit of the French Minister of Finance to London to have a number of conversations with him on matters of common concern, and in particular on methods of promoting Anglo-French co-operation in financial and economic matters. Our talks were in general terms; and the only definite conclusion arrived at concerned the possibility of assisting the French Government in the proper enforcement of the measures taken by them for the purpose of controlling their foreign assets and ensuring that they are used in the best interests of their country. M. Pleven drew my attention to the importance which his Government attach to this matter, and it was agreed that, when arrangements have been completed for the mutual reinstatement of property interests which have been interrupted by the war, His Majesty's Government will make available to the French Government, at their request, information relating to the assets of French nationals which has been furnished to His Majesty's Government under Trading with the Enemy legislation, and the French Government will furnish reciprocal information to the British authorities.

Earl Winterton

Did the talks cover the calamitous state of France at the present time, and the destitution and mal-nutrition that exist; and were any proposals put forward by the French Finance Minister for us to come to the rescue of that country in its dire distress?

Sir J. Anderson

I am fully alive to those questions; but my talks with the Minister of Finance were concerned, as I said, with financial and monetary questions.