HC Deb 10 November 1955 vol 545 cc1994-5
31. Mr. Grimond

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what conversations he has had with the United States Government over the possibility of a higher price for gold; and with what result.

Sir E. Boyle

My right hon. Friend stated the view of Her Majesty's Government on this question in his speech to the Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund at Istanbul, in which he said: Provided that we choose the right moment, an increase in the value of existing gold reserves would make it easier for the world to ensure that temporary balance of payments fluctuations are dealt with without recourse to restrictive measures. In the same discussion, the United States Government opposed an increase in the price of gold as being inflationary in character.

Mr. Grimond

May we take it from that reply that it is Government policy to press for an increase in the price of gold, presumably in the interests of the sterling area and the balance of payments; and as the United States of America are the main people concerned, should not this matter be taken up directly with them?

Sir E. Boyle

When the hon. Member reads my Answer, I think that he will be satisfied with the line which the Chancellor took. I will gladly send the hon. Member a copy of the whole speech if he would like to see it. On the second point, it is important to remember that an increase in the United States monetary price of gold can only be effected by a decision of the United States itself, but we have made our position quite clear.