HC Deb 16 December 1952 vol 509 cc158-9W
77. Mr. Bence

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the external financial liabilities of the United Kingdom at 31st October, 1951, and 31st October, 1952. respectively.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I regret that 1 cannot give the hon. Member the figures he requires. The explanation of the position is as followsThe phrase "external financial liabilities" of the United Kingdom covers a variety of items. By long-established practice, which I am unwilling to change, particulars of the sterling liabilities of the United Kingdom are published only for June and December each year and appear (on the basis there defined) in the half-yearly White Papers on the Balance of Payments. The last of these was Cmd. 8666, published in October last. The total of the United Kingdom credit or debit with the European Payments Union is also published half-yearly in the Balance of Payments White Papers. Intermediate changes advised by the Union are published monthly in the Press. Details of the debts of Her Majesty's Government payable in external currencies are published annually in the Finance Accounts, the last of which were in House of Commons Paper No. 203 of 1952. Corresponding figures of non-Governmental debts due in external currencies are not available.