HC Deb 15 December 1953 vol 522 cc184-5
27. Mr. Grimond

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much gold has been imported from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the last six months; how much was re-exported; and what has been done with the rest.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Our total imports and exports of gold bullion and coin in 1953 will be published in the Accounts relating to the Trade and Navigation of the United Kingdom for January. 1954. which I am not prepared to anticipate. It is not the practice to publish figures of such transactions with particular countries.

Mr. Grimond

Can the Chancellor say whether the apparent willingness of the Russians to export gold gives any hope that our trade with Russia may increase?

Mr. Butler

The answer to that is that it remains to be seen.

Mr. Gaitskell

In view of the fact that information about sales of gold by the Russians to ourselves has been published in the Press, could not the right hon. Gentleman be a little more reasonable in giving the House information? Can he tell us whether this gold, which apparently, was imported last month, was included in the last gold figures issued?

Mr. Butler

I should want notice of the last part of the supplementary question, but the right hon. Member and his hon. Friends will not have to wait very long for the information which will be published in the Trade and Navigation Returns.