asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what reductions in the totals of blocked sterling balances, held by foreign countries and Dominions, have taken place over 1948.
§ Sir S. Cripps
In accordance with formal agreements with Argentina, Brazil, Ceylon, Egypt, India, Iraq, Pakistan and Uruguay, releases during 1948 amounted to £79 million for current purposes, £25 million for working balances and £162 million for purchases of U.K. concerns, repurchase of securities, etc. The figure of £162 million includes sums amounting to £16 million which were included in the figures for current releases given to hon. Members in July of last year, but which were in fact to be applied to the purchase of U.K. concerns. These figures take no account of the payments by India and Pakistan for the purchase of annuities from His Majesty's Government and for defence stores under the Financial Agreements of July, 1948 (Cmd. 7472 and 7479).