§ 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 1081 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.