HC Deb 26 January 1971 vol 810 c309
18. Mr. Costain

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what he attributes the rise in the gross balances of the sterling area countries in the third quarter of 1970.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Preliminary figures indicate that there was a small surplus in the balance of payments of the overseas sterling area as a whole in the third quarter of 1970, and some of the resulting increase in their reserves was held in the form of additional sterling balances.

Mr. Costain

Why is my hon. Friend so modest about the success of the Government's policies? Does not he realise that the increases in sterling balances and national savings are the result of the policies the Chancellor is putting across? Cannot he get across to the Opposition that this is a political matter, a national issue?

Mr. Jenkin

I hope that Treasury Ministers will always be suitably modest. My hon. Friend is right, however. This small increase in the sterling balances was in contrast to the usual seasonal fall that happens in the third quarter. The balances of most of the countries in the overseas sterling area did fall as usual, but one or two rose, for exceptional reasons.