§ 30. Mr. Roy Jenkins
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent he attributes the recent weakening in the transferable sterling rate to Egyptian payments to Czechoslovakia.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
While there have been day-to-day fluctuations, to which I should hesitate to attribute any particular significance, I am not aware of any recent weakening in the rate of exchange for transferable sterling.
§ Mr. Jenkins
Is the Chancellor not aware that it was stated in informed quarters two or three weeks ago that the transferable rate was having to be supported by the Bank of England on the Zurich free market because of payments from Egypt for Czechoslovakian arms in transferable sterling? Is it not highly undesirable that his exchange policy has got us into the position of having to support these transactions?
§ Mr. Butler
No, Sir. As usual, I am very well advised and am aware of the source of the hon. Member's information, a notable periodical which both he and I read. As banker for the sterling area, it would not be proper to make observations on transactions of that sort. As I am responsible for the Exchange Equalisation Fund, I am not prepared to say whether we intervened or not.