HC Deb 21 September 1948 vol 456 cc53-5W
65. Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the countries to which, and the amounts, respectively, of sterling balances which this country is making available to other European countries as a result of the recent Paris Agreement; and in respect of each country concerned the total sterling balance held at the latest convenient date.

Mr. Jay

It has been estimated that the countries participating in the Intra European Payments Scheme will need to use, in addition to the proposed sterling grants, approximately the following amounts of their sterling holdings:

Sweden 17
Netherlands 14
Italy 11
Turkey 5
Greece 5
I cannot give our total sterling liabilities to individual countries, since this would involve disclosing confidential information about the balances of those who deposit their money here.

66. Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether sterling made available to any Western European country under the recent Paris Agreement will be transferable to sterling accounts of other nations.

Mr. Jay

The details of the scheme have not yet been settled, hut, as my right hon. and learned Friend explained in his statement on 16th September, we cannot accept any arrangement for the transferability of our sterling contribution which might involve us in gold or dollar loss.

67. Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the total amount of unrequited exports which will be incurred by this country in the present financial year as a result of the Paris Agreement on European Recovery; and how much of this figure will represent exports that otherwise would have been available for sale in hard currency countries.

Mr. Jay

For the year ending 30th June next, which is the period covered by the Paris Agreement, we have agreed to make available to other participating countries about £120 million in sterling. Of this we expect that about £30 million will represent the United Kingdom trading surplus with these countries. The rest will represent the surplus of other sterling area countries with the participating countries but I cannot estimate how much of this sum the sterling area countries will in turn spend in the United Kingdom. The hon. and gallant Member will recall that Australia has made a generous contribution. As to the latter part of the Question, we do not intend that our capacity to export to hard currency countries should be diminished by reason of the obligations which we have undertaken to Europe.