HC Deb 11 November 1948 vol 457 cc1723-4
53. Mr. Donner

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is now in a position to give an assurance that he will not provide foreign exchange for the purpose of enabling the executive of the Scottish area of the National Union of Mineworkers to send £1,000 as a gift to the French miners now on strike.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Stafford Cripps)

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave to the hon. Member for Hendon, South (Sir H. Lucas-Tooth), in reply to a similar Question, on Tuesday, 9th November.

Mr. Donner

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say what steps he has taken to assure himself that these funds will be used for charitable purposes only? Is he aware that his gesture of support for the Communist faction in France is being repudiated by the overwhelming majority of French people, and is as widely resented in France as in this country?

Sir S. Cripps

As regards the second part of the supplementary question, I do not think that is so. The French Government were consulted about this beforehand.

Earl Winterton

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman's action in this case mean that he intends in future to relax the very rigid regulations which have existed in the past, which prevented persons from sending money overseas—to Switzerland, for example, for tubercular relatives.

Sir S. Cripps

It was the carrying out of regulations, as I said yesterday, that have been in operation for a long time.

Mr. Donner

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman answer the first part of my supplementary question? What steps has he taken to assure himself that these funds will be used for charitable purposes only?

Sir S. Cripps

I have taken no steps to that extent—except the statement and undertaking of the people who transmit them.

Sir W. Smithers

Up the Reds.