HL Deb 14 December 1939 vol 115 c296WA

asked His Majesty's Government what Authority has power to grant or refuse to grant retention of foreign and Dominion currency to holders thereof, and what principles guide the Authority in the exercise of its discretion; how many private individuals have had leave to retain such currency, the aggregate amount thereof and the twelve maximum amounts?


I would refer the noble Lord to the provisions of Regulation 4 of the Defence (Finance) Regulations, 1939, of which I am sending him a copy. From this he will see that the Treasury is empowered to permit holders of foreign currency to retain that currency and may designate a person to act in this matter on its behalf. The Treasury has so designated the Bank of England. The principles guiding the Treasury are set out in the Regulation itself. Apart from the case of foreign currency held under a trust or in similar circumstances, retention may be permitted for the purposes of performing a pre-war contract; of meeting the reasonable requirements of a trade or business carried on in this country; or of defraying reasonable travelling or other personal expenses. I regret that it is not possible to give the number of cases in which permission has been granted to retain holdings of foreign currency or the aggregate amounts so held and the twelve maximum amounts. The currencies to which the Regulations apply are:—American and Canadian Dollars, French, Belgian and Swiss Francs, Norwegian and Swedish Crowns, Amsterdam and Java Guilders, and Argentine Pesos.

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