HC Deb 07 February 1956 vol 548 cc1492-3
31. Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the sum released under agreements made between this country and Egypt from sterling balances to Egypt from 1945 to 1951 and from 1951 to the latest convenient date, respectively.

Mr. H. Macmillan

One hundred and sixty-two million pounds were released between 14th July, 1947, when Egypt's balances were blocked, and 31st October, 1951. Ninety-four million pounds were released between November, 1951, and 3rd January, 1956.

Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

Does not this Answer show that this Government have been far less generous in releasing Egyptian balances than were the late Government, and that, in addition, considerable economic advantages have been gained? Will my right hon. Friend confirm that among these economic advantages he has gained is the release for this country from paying sterling which is paid in turn by Egypt to ex-enemy countries for redemption of their bonds?

Mr. Macmillan

This is a matter in which a great number of considerations have to be taken into account. Releases are governed by agreements made on different dates, and I should not like to be drawn into any conclusions other than those which can be made by hon. Members from the figures which I have given.

Mr. H. Hynd

Can the Chancellor say how much is still outstanding in regard to Egypt?

Mr. Macmillan

Not without notice.