HC Deb 25 July 1950 vol 478 c28W
59. Sir R. Acland

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement explaining what are the technical difficulties which prevent separate publication of the dollar balances earned or lost by the larger Colonies and, in respect of smaller Colonies, by such groups of Colonies as might conveniently be taken together.

Sir S. Cripps

Measurement, detailed breakdown and reconciliation involve difficulties in constructing any balance of payments. In the case of a complicated trading system like the sterling area, these are greatly multiplied in any attempt at a close geographical sub-division. When this breakdown has to extend not only to the Colonies as a whole, or to major groups of Colonies, but to many individual territories, the arbitrariness of the attempt is very greatly magnified. I would remind my hon. Friend that this is not a question of looking at an account in which each Colony records its dollar payments and receipts, resulting in a change in its dollar balances; the trade and "invisible" transactions of the Colonies with the dollar area are conducted partly in dollars and partly in sterling from American or Canadian account, and this is done partly in the Colonies themselves, and partly through merchants and trading organisations in the United Kingdom and in other Commonwealth countries, including other Colonies.

60. Mr. Keeling

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement showing the dollar expenditure and earnings or the net gold and dollar balances of each group of Colonies, Protectorates and Trust territories for which figures are available for any recent year or years.

Sir S. Cripps