HC Deb 18 October 1949 vol 468 cc479-80
47. Mr. I. J. Pitman

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the losses to the nation, in the period leading up to devaluation, due to absence of exchange control or ineffective control; what percentage of such total loss is attributable to transactions involving sterling by persons not susceptible to the jurisdiction of British statutes; how much attributable to the transactions susceptible to such laws; and if he will estimate the amount, if any, lost by reason of transactions by British citizens ineffectively controlled.

Sir S. Cripps

I cannot give any reliable estimates of losses which have been incurred, either as a result of activities of persons outside our jurisdiction, or through evasion of Exchange Control regulations on the part of our own residents; nor would it be possible to estimate the proportion of the losses caused by the first category as compared with the second. I am satisfied, however, that the great bulk of the losses that occurred were due to operations by traders outside our control, and that those due to deliberate evasion on the part of our own nationals were relatively small.

Mr. Pitman

May we not all be gratified, then, that exchange control in itself and the acts of those who have been working at it have been very satisfactory and that nothing has been left undone, either in regulations or in the administration of them?

Sir S. Cripps

I am sure the Exchange Control authorities will be most grateful to the hon. Member.

52. Major Bruce

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures are currently in force to ensure that exports of capital from Britain to the rest of the sterling area do not result in a drain on our gold and dollar resources; whether he is satisfied with these measures; and what steps he proposes to take to reinforce them.

Sir S. Cripps

Every Government within the sterling area exercises exchange control powers similar to our own with the object of preventing a drain on our gold or dollar resources. While I am satisfied that the existing system of control is very effective in achieving this object, the system is kept constantly under review in order that concerted action can be taken to strengthen it whenever the need should arise.