HC Deb 26 January 1971 vol 810 cc305-6
12. Mr. Tugendhat

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the timetable of repayments of United Kingdom loans still outstanding from the International Monetary Fund.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

The first repurchases are due on 18th June this year. Discussions have not yet been started on the rest of the timetable.

Mr. Tugendhat

I thank my hon. Friend for his reply. In view of the great inflow of funds into this country which makes possible these repayments, does not he agree that the time has perhaps come to encourage an outward flow in the form of more overseas investment?

Mr. Macmillan

The future of our balance of payments can be greatly sustained by overseas investment. On the question of repurchasing these drawings, we expect to start discussing the balance of the June, 1968, drawings with the fund during the coming months, and that has to be taken into consideration with other factors.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Will my how Friend tell the House whether accelerated and advanced repayment of international debts incurred by the last Administration would help to ease the strain on monetary policy imposed by the inflow of foreign funds which appears to have taken the Bank of England so completely by surprise?

Mr. Macmillan

The whole question of the rate of repayment of debt in relation to the inflow of funds is something to be discussed with those concerned in the context of the International Monetary Fund. I do not think that I can go any further today.

13. Mr. Le Marchant

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total of interest and charges paid to date by the United Kingdom on official short and medium-term borrowings made since October, 1964 from the International Monetary Fund and, under the various swap arrangements, from overseas central banks.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

In the period end September, 1964 to end September, 1970, interest and charges on all outstanding short and medium-term official debt totalled £354 million, of which £118 million was paid to the I.M.F.

Mr. Le Marchant

Can my hon. Friend give his views on the extension of the 1968 Basle Agreements for sterling balances? Are they working satisfactorily for us with our fluctuating liabilities?

Mr. Macmillan

The Basle Agreements come up for renegotiation this year. In view of those negotiations, I would prefer to say no more now.