§ 20. Mr. Emrys Hughes
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to protect the £ sterling as a result of Her Majesty's Government's policy in the Middle East.
The gold and dollar reserves at the end of June amounted to £1,099 million, £249 million more than at the corresponding date a year ago, and the highest level for over six years. Taking account of the extra support available to the reserves, if deemed necessary, under the stand-by arrangements with the International Monetary Fund and the United States Export/Import Bank, I do not consider that any special action is needed.
§ Mr. Hughes
Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that something has happened in the world since the end of June? Is he not aware that last Friday The Times stated that sterling had declined following the landing of British troops in Jordan? Did he warn the Government that that was likely to be the effect? Is he not aware that the Stock Exchange has been very depressed and has only just cheered up following Mr. Khrushchev's letter? Is the right hon. Gentleman relying on Mr. Khrushchev to save the £?
I can reply briefly by saying that sterling has been behaving very well, as I expected it would, reflecting, as it does, the strong sterling position.