HC Deb 20 November 1958 vol 595 cc1297-8
7. Mr. Cronin

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he intends to resume the annual payments of the post-war United States and Canadian loans; and when he intends to commence repaying the loans from the International Monetary Fund and the Export-Import Bank.

Mr. Erroll

Under the terms of the relevant agreements, the annual payments on the United States and Canadian Loans are due to be made on 31st December of each year, except in those cases where Her Majesty's Government feels that a deferment is necessary. As regards the drawing from the International Monetary Fund, there is no fixed date, but we expect to discuss arrangements with the Fund shortly. The first repayment of the Export-Import Bank loan is due in October, 1960.

Mr. Cronin

Does the hon. Gentleman appreciate that now is the season or the favourable time of the year for sterling. and there will be considerable disadvantage in further deferments? In view of the fact that the gold and dollar reserve totals have been somewhat disingenuously swollen in the past by these loans and deferments of payments, does not the Economic Secretary realise that, if there is a further delay, it will suggest a desire for electoral advantage rather than for the true economic interest of this country?

Mr. Erroll

I do not think that that point would enter into the mind of my right hon. Friend; but he will, no doubt, make an announcement at the appropriate time.