HC Deb 13 February 1986 vol 91 cc1080-1
3. Mr. Hoyle

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when Ministers of the Group of Five are due to meet next.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Nigel Lawson)

The Finance Ministers of the Group of Five nations meet from time to time.

Mr. Hoyle

Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer call for an urgent meeting of the Group of Five and urge that it should follow the lead given by France and Japan in reducing interest rates, which would give a boost to British industry? Will he also discuss with it international debt, which is having a disastrous effect upon the world economy, particularly upon the economies of the developing nations? It is absolutely urgent that such a meeting should be held.

Mr. Lawson

There was a meeting in London, under my chairmanship, only last month at which the likely trend in interest rates and international debt was discussed. There will be further discussions about international debt at the spring meeting in April of the interim committee of the International Monetary Fund. The general view is that as inflation comes down worldwide it will help to reduce interest rates.

Mr. Blair

Does the Chancellor agree that the important thing is not to discuss problems, but to try to solve them? Will he agree that the main priorities in international co-operation are lower interest rates, high growth and a solution to the problems of international debt. Will he also firmly undertake now not to allow any domestic dogma to stand in the way of international progress?

Mr. Lawson

It is true that the difference between the two sides of the House is that the Opposition discuss problems, but we solve them.

Forward to