§ 41. Mr. Cronin
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, having regard to the present level of the gold and dollar reserve and to the imminence of a seasonally favourable period for sterling, he will expedite measures to lower interest rates in the United Kingdom.
As regards short-term rates of interest, the hon. Member will have observed that Bank Rate has been reduced by 3 per cent. in the last nine months. Future policy in this field will remain flexible. As regards long-term rates, I have nothing to add to what I told the hon. Member on 2nd December.
§ Mr. Cronin
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that by previous standards a 4 per cent. Bank Rate is a high rate of interest and that nobody will believe that he wishes to reduce unemployment while that high rate of interest continues?
All I can assure the hon. Member is that policy will continue to he adjusted to the needs of the changing situation. As for opinions on the changing of rates, I leave it to the hon. Member to decide that matter for himself.