§ As a result of the sterling area's achievement, the gold and dollar reserves rose during 1953 by £240 million, to a total of £899 million. The Committee should know that in the first quarter of this year the reserves rose by another £60 million. The result was that at the end of March they stood at £959 million. Here, too, we may feel modestly satisfied—but not complacent. The level of £959 million is a little more than half as much again as the lowest figure to which the reserves fell in 1952; so that there is a long way to go before they reach an adequate level.
§ The United Kingdom's own balance of payments with the rest of the world yielded a surplus of about £225 million on current account in 1953, after receiving about £100 million of aid from the United States. In the second half of the year, our total current surplus had risen to an annual rate of £300 million, after taking account of U.S. aid.