HC Deb 18 February 1920 vol 125 cc904-5W
Lieut.-Colonel W. GUINNESS

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he is aware that the French authorities at Folkestone, Dieppe, and other frontier stations, now impound all British notes, whether French or British, above the values of 1,000 francs, found in the possession of travellers returning to England, and that travellers are only able to recover this English money, which they may have brought into France and never changed, after considerable delay and inconvenience and a considerable loss on the exchange owing to the compulsory conversion of British bank notes into French currency at the exchange rates for British notes and back again into British currency by cheque on London at a less favourable rate; whether he can explain with what object the French authorities interfere with British currency in the possession of British subjects; and whether, in view of the great inconvenience caused to British travellers, he will make representations to the French Government to limit their prohibition of the export of bank notes to their own currency, and to allow British subjects undisturbed possession of British currency?


Regulations enforced by the French authorities forbid travellers in France to remove French or foreign bank notes above the total value of 1,000 francs without special authorisation from the French Ministry of Finance. They also prohibit the exportation of gold or silver money, whether French or foreign, above the sum of 10 francs. Travellers are entitled, however, to take out of France the money which they brought in, provided that they declare such sums to the Customs authorities and obtain a receipt at the port of entry. These regulations are, no doubt, mainly of a preventive nature, due to the present shortage of French currency and to the exigencies of the exchange. With regard to the last part of the hon. and gallant Member's question, H.M. Ambassador in Paris has been instructed to approach the French Government with a view to the possible modification of the existing regulations.