HC Deb 26 October 1971 vol 823 cc1452-3
9. Mr. Rost

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the extent of the United Kingdom's short- and medium-term overseas debt at the latest available date compared to what it was in June, 1970.

The Chief Secretary of the Treasury (Mr. Maurice Macmillan)

£415 million now, on the basis of official parities, compared with £1,461 million at the end of June, 1970.

Mr. Rost

As every Labour Administration devalue the pound and lumber the nation with vast overseas debt, and as every Conservative Government have to repay the debt and clear up the mess, would not it be more appropriate if, instead of sneering at the way in which this Government have sorted out the problems, hon. Gentlemen opposite admitted their guilt and congratulated the Government for their achievements?

Mr. Macmillan

That supplementary question is not entirely for me. I merely say that we have repaid a very great measure of the short- and medium-term debt.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

Bearing in mind what I believe has been the substantial use of the swap facilities with the New York Federal Reserve Bank in a reverse direction, will the hon. Gentleman say whether there is, net, any short- and medium-term debt now outstanding?

Mr. Macmillan

These matters have been handled in the usual way, and there is some short- and medium-term debt outstanding.

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Hordern.

Mr. Hordern

No. 10.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

Will the hon. Gentleman tell us how much?

Mr. Speaker

Order. I have called the next Question.