§ 18. Mr. G. R. Strauss
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much dollar and other non-sterling currency he estimates will have to be made available to importers of lead during the next three years.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
It is not possible to estimate precisely how much dollar and other non-sterling currency will have to be made available to importers of lead during the next three years. It is not expected that it will differ markedly either from the amount which would have been needed had public trading in lead continued or from the amounts needed in previous years.
§ Mr. Strauss
While it is improbable that there will be any additional amount of dollars required at the moment, does the Chancellor appreciate that market conditions will change, as importers in the future will be able to buy lead from dollar sources as they want, which will tend to increase dollar imports of lead 10 as against sterling imports, with consequential grave inroads into our dollar reserves?
§ Mr. Butler
In any case, a large proportion of our imports come from the sterling area, but the point put by the right hon. Gentleman was borne in mind before the decision to open the private market was taken, and, as far as I can make out, the situation is a little better, as I have stated.