HC Deb 06 March 1958 vol 583 c1327
36. Mr. Roy Jenkins

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish monthly figures for sterling balances.

Mr. Maudling

Monthly changes can be much influenced by fortuitous factors and could therefore be very misleading. Consideration is however being given to the quarterly publication of sterling holdings.

Mr. Jenkins

But are not the monthly gold figures equally liable to influence by special factors? Will not the right hon. Gentleman also confirm that the figures asked for are known to the Bank of England? Will he not also agree that if we are to see the true position from month to month, we ought to see not only the movement in our assets as represented by the gold reserves, but also the movement in our liabilities as represented by these figures?

Mr. Maudling

This is an important point, but even if we published the sterling balances and the gold reserves, that would not be the full picture of our assets and liabilities. If we give the impression that the picture is full, it might be misleading. I agree that the monthly publication of gold reserves might give a misleading impression because of the short-term factor, but that is established practice. I appreciate the point which the hon. Gentleman has in mind.

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