HC Deb 15 March 1948 vol 448 c1679
20. Mr. Parkin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will seek arrangements to ensure that purchases from Germany, many of which can be re-exported, shall not have to be paid for in dollars.

Mr. Mayhew

Trade between the sterling area and the Combined zone is in practice conducted on a sterling basis. Under the terms of the revised Fusion Agreement of last December, however, any adverse quarterly balance either way in excess of £1½ million is settled in dollars. This arrangement covers all trade between the two areas, including entrepôt trade.

Mr. Parkin

Is not my hon. Friend aware that this makes it extremely difficult for British merchants to establish trade in Germany and elsewhere in the world, and that this appears to restrict still further the trade of this country and the chance of merchants earning a living?

Mr. Mayhew

I do not dispute that there is some force in that, but it is hard to maintain over a certain level that Germany should continue to accumulate sterling balances.