HC Deb 07 July 1953 vol 517 c1043
33. Mr. Gaitskell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on the purpose and outcome of the financial discussions which have recently taken place in London with Germany, Holland, Switzerland and other European countries.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The main purpose of these discussions was to exchange views on the questions of freer trade and currencies raised in the statements made by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and myself at the Council of O.E.E.C. on 23rd March. The discussions were purely exploratory and without commitment. Further studies will now take place in O.E.E.C. in accordance with the Council decision to which I referred in my reply to the right hon. Gentleman on 1st April.

Mr. Gaitskell

Did the discussions cover the question of particular countries which are surplus in the European Payments Union coming into balance again and the deficit countries equally achieving a balance?

Mr. Butler

That particular question, of course, was discussed at our meeting at O.E.E.C., where it was more relevant. But as far as I can remember almost every aspect of this type of question was raised at the recent discussions and I do not doubt that the question raised by the right hon. Gentleman came up for consideration.