HL Deb 08 December 1948 vol 159 cc900-1WA

asked His Majesty's Government whether, in view of the damage being done to British trade, and the loss of dollar exchange involved to the sterling area through multiple cross rate exchange manipulations largely by French nationals, they will now encourage discontinuance of the substantial acceptance credits by a group of London banks to France for purchases of wool, which commodity is understood to be one of those mostly used for these disruptive exchange operations.


His Majesty's Government attach great importance to the maintenance of a system of orderly cross rates in the interests of stable monetary and trading relations and they are very much alive to the dangers which the noble Lord has in mind. I would remind him, however, that the French Government, with the approval of the International Monetary Fund, revised their exchange rate system on October 18 last and that under the arrangements now in operation the cross rate in Paris between the pound and the dollar is effectively maintained at the official rate of 4.03 for commercial transactions. Moreover, His Majesty's Government have always had the fullest co-operation of the French Government in taking all necessary steps to minimize undesirable exchange operations which might damage the interests of the sterling area. In these circumstances, His Majesty's Government see no reason to take action on the lines suggested by the noble Lord.