§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in view of the withdrawal of the application of the Union of South Africa to remain a member of the Commonwealth, they will state their assessment of the likely strain in the near future on the sterling area balance of payments; and whether they are able to give an assurance that imports from the Union of South Africa into the United Kingdom will continue to receive the present advantages of Commonwealth preferential treatment.]
§ THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL AND MINISTER FOR SCIENCE (VISCOUNT HAILSHAM)
My Lords, as this Question is within the ambit of the debate this afternoon, I would ask my noble friend to await my opening speech, in which I propose to 1224 deal with all the main queries arising from South Africa's withdrawal from the Commonwealth, including those which he has raised in his Question.
§ LORD BARNBY
My Lords, while thanking the noble Viscount for his reply, may I ask him whether he will be in a position to make any reference to the relationship of gold production in the Commonwealth as against that of Russia; in the first instance with South Africa in, and in the second instance with South Africa out of the Commonwealth?
§ VISCOUNT HAILSHAM
My Lords, I am sure that the question of whether or not South Africa is in the Commonwealth does not directly affect the question whether her gold production goes through the London market. I am aware of the figures, but then, my noble friend is almost certainly aware of them, too.