§ 39. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why he has abandoned the practice of holding the central reserves of the sterling area in gold; and when he expects to return to the former practice.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
A substantial proportion of the reserves is still held in gold, but this naturally varies with circumstances. I would not accept that there is any overriding need to hold a particular percentage of gold.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
Prior to this Government coming into office, was it not the practice to hold around 90 per cent. of the reserves in gold? Since this Government came into office, has this not gradually dropped below 50 per cent? Have there been any obligations placed on the Government by our foreign creditors not to transfer our reserves of gold?
§ Mr. Jenkins
No. As the hon. Gentleman, possibly taking a wise precaution, in view of the time, asked the supplementary to this Question on an earlier Question, when I gave the answer and the explanation, it is not necessary for me to repeat it now.