HC Deb 20 February 1945 vol 408 c628
63. Mr. Touche

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the Treasury has issued instructions to the banks to allow interest retrospectively at the rate of ½ per cent. on all foreign sterling balances placed at the disposal of the Custodian of Enemy Property; and on what statutory authority such instructions were issued.

Sir J. Anderson

Under the legislation in force, the bank balances of enemies within the meaning of the Trading with the Enemy Act are payable to the Custodian of Enemy Property. In some cases it was agreed that banks should not transfer these balances by payment to the Custodian's account, but should continue to retain them in his name. These are the balances in question. The arrangements for payment of interest were negotiated with the bankers concerned, and it is not the case that any instructions have been issued by the Treasury making it obligatory to pay interest on these balances.

Mr. Gallacher

Does not this mean the supply of more interest for the sharks, which the Prime Minister has just condemned?

Sir J. Anderson

It has nothing to do with that at all.

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