HC Deb 05 July 1949 vol 466 c1959
44. Mr. Ivor Thomas

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the amount of the sterling balances held by the State of Israel; and what is the origin of these balances.

Sir S. Cripps

I regret that I cannot disclose figures of the sterling balances of individual countries. The main origin of Israel's balances was British military expenditure in Palestine arising out of the 1939–45 war.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

Is not it rather strange that this should be accumulated before we have even recognised Israel de jure? Is there any similar accumulation on the part of the Arab part of Palestine?

Sir S. Cripps

The accumulation was, of course, under the original Palestine Government which was then in operation in the country which was then Palestine. As a successor State the present Government of Israel takes over the debt.