HC Deb 29 November 1960 vol 631 c184
16. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make a statement on his official talks on Friday, 25th November, with Mr. Anderson, Secretary of the United States Treasury.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

No, Sir.

Mr. Hughes

But does not the Minister think that some statement should be made on this question? Is it true that the American Secretary of the Treasury failed to get more money out of the Germans and now he is hoping to get more money out of us? Did the Chancellor tell him that the dollar crisis is due to the big expenditure on armaments and that the best plan for the United States would be to cut that and not try to soak either the Germans or the British taxpayer?

Mr. Lloyd

I do not think that it is advisable to reveal what takes place during confidential discussions, otherwise there is little value in having those discussions. We discussed the whole position. The hon. Member has not gathered the right inference in what he said.

Mr. S. Silverman

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether Mr. Anderson offered him any explanation of how this extremely wealthy country, with all its resources and with its economic system on which it relies and which it praises and advocates all over the world, finds itself in so parlous a condition that it has to go round with cap in hand to the Germans for aid?

Mr. Lloyd

We did not discuss this matter at these conversations, but the position had been made absolutely clear beforehand. It is due to the extreme generosity of the American people and the extent to which they have undertaken collective defence responsibility, because on current account they have a surplus.