HC Deb 07 December 1953 vol 521 cc1599-600
21. Mr. Beswick

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the investment of United Nations' funds.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The financial regulations of the United Nations empower the Secretary-General to make short-term investments of ordinary United Nations moneys not immediately required, and long-term investments of money standing to the credit of trust funds, reserve and special accounts. The Secretary-General is advised by an Investments Committee.

Her Majesty's Government's policy has been to support the Secretary-General in his exercise of these powers, through approving the annual financial reports and accounts of the United Nations and its various funds.

Mr. Beswick

Under the latter heading, is it not a fact that of 70 million dollars held by the trust funds 68 million dollars have been invested in the United States, and is it not rather ironical that when we are trying to get the United States to invest in other countries the United Nations are, in fact, investing in the United States?

Mr. Lloyd

The Secretary-General is advised in these matters by an Investment Committee. It may be of some interest to the hon. Gentleman to know that the representatives of Czechoslovakia and Byelorussia, who might have been expected to be sensitive as to where these sums are invested, recently were pressing for more to be invested in equities.