HC Deb 01 July 1948 vol 452 cc2369-71
55. Mr. Granville Sharp

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in what way he advises all prospective visitors to the United Kingdom that only £5 in British currency may be brought into this country; whether this information has been published in the Falkland Isles; and whether, in view of all the circumstances, he will refund the £8 taken at London Airport in May from Mr. Edward McAtasney, who was unaware of this regulation when he left the Falkland Isles for the purpose of placing orders in this country.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Glenvil Hall)

As the answer is a long one, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Sharp

Can the Financial Secretary say whether this long answer is a favourable one?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

I think so, like most Treasury answers.

Mr. Oliver Stanley

In view of the fact that the last part of the Question asks if he will refund the money, can the right hon. Gentleman say how the answer can be longer than "Yes" or "No"?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

It does happen to be something more than "Yes" or "No."

Sir W. Wakefield

Is the Financial Secretary aware that there is great resentment by foreigners arriving in this country who have their money stolen from them—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order."]—and will he take steps to arrange that when people do come to this country with surplus money, with no intention of defrauding the Government, their money shall be returned to them when they leave for home?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

We have taken steps to apprise travellers to this country of the regulations. There are quite a lot of forged notes abroad, and a large number are bought at discount. It is part of the law of this land that notes above a certain amount should not be brought in, and we must rigorously, if we can, see that the law is obeyed.

Mr. Nicholson

Can the right hon. Gentleman make a really Herculean effort and say whether this gentleman will have the money refunded to him or not?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

In the Falkland Isles they have announced very properly that only £5 can be brought into this country. The authorities there permit travellers to take out £10, and that being the case we intend to refund to this gentleman a part of the amount.

Sir W. Darling

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that British citizens leaving this country are inconvenienced, and that when they find themselves in possession of more than £5 they have their money confiscated?

Following is the answer:

The Central Banks in other countries of the British Commonwealth and in foreign countries are informed of United Kingdom exchange control regulations. In the case of the Colonies, including the Falkland Islands, instructions are sent to the Colonial Governments, who make them public by a public notice or by sending instructions to local banks. The latter should advise any prospective travellers to the United Kingdom at the time application is made for exchange of any regulations which apply to them.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies telegraphed on 8th September, 1947, to all Colonies, including the Falkland Islands, telling them that the maximum amount of sterling notes which could be imported into the United Kingdom had been reduced from £20 to £5 As a result, a public notioe was issued from the Colonial Secretary's Office, Stanley, on 16th September, 1947, but the local Exchange Control, whilst warning travellers that only £5 could be brought into the United Kingdom permits the export from the Falkland Islands of £10. In these circumstances, I am prepared to agree that a further £5 should be returned to Mr. McAtasney.