HC Deb 05 August 1947 vol 441 cc1288-9
55. Mr. Spearman

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how he accounts for the drawing of £74,441,000 from the dollar funds announced on 30th July; does he anticipate that withdrawals will continue at this rate; and how long does he calculate it will be before the U.S. Loan is exhausted.

Mr. Dalton

I hope to deal with these matters in some detail in the Debate which opens tomorrow.

Mr. Spearman

Is the Chancellor of the Exchequer satisfied that there is no possibility of leakage through the sterling area?

Mr. Dalton

I would rather deal with this in a comprehensive way. I shall not seek to evade such questions as this, but it would be more convenient to the House if I dealt with the matter in the course of my speech.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he adheres to the answer he gave last Tuesday to the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. D. Marshall) saying that: There has been no substantial change in the drain during the fortnight since 15th July. …"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th July, 1947; Vol. 441, c. 257.]

Mr. Frank Byers

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that this is about the third occasion on which he has given this answer that he is not going to give information to the House until the Debate tomorrow? Could he say when he will speak in that Debate? It is important that the House of Commons should have as much information as possible on which to base its contribution.

Mr. Dalton

That will depend upon when you are kind enough, Mr. Speaker, to allow me to speak, but the answer which I have given is the formally correct answer. I hope that influences may be brought to bear to enable you, Sir, to catch my eye—[Laughter]—to enable me to catch your eye at a comparatively early stage.

Major Lloyd

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. Is it not highly improper that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should suggest that he hopes that influences will be brought to bear upon you? Would it not have been better if he had said that he proposes to try to catch your eye at a certain time?

Mr. Speaker

I noticed that he withdrew the first suggestion very quickly.

Mr. Martin Lindsay

Would it not be better if the right hon. Gentleman told us what time, so that we could be here?