HC Deb 06 July 1954 vol 529 cc147-8W
67. Mr. Gaitskell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on the proposed changes changes in the European Payments Union.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The European Payments Union has been renewed for a further year from 1st July, 1954. This was made possible by a series of bilateral agreements between the creditor and debtor countries for the discharge of a substantial part of existing debts by immediate down-payment and further instalments over a period of usually seven years. The creditor countries will receive repayment of a further part of their credits from the convertible assets of the Union.

Oils chargeable with Customs duty
Quantity Receipts of duty
Gallons £
Light Oils: 1,924,400,976 240,725,150
Of which motor (including aviation) spirit (1,875,425,179) (234,591,587)
Heavy oils for use as road fuel 321,863,039 40,224,318
Other heavy oils 4,713,775,845 620,518
of which fully rebateable (4,564,851,837)
Oils chargeable with Excise duty*
Quantity Receipts of duty
Gallons £
Light oils: 115,277,282 8,794,439
Of which motor (including aviation) spirit (77,154,649) (5,926,604)
Heavy oils for use as road fuel 24,022,254 1,831,775
Total 292,196,200
Allowances under Section 206 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1952 2,311,872
Net total 289,884,328
* In comparing these particulars with those relating to previous years which I have given to him on earlier occasions, my hon. Friend will no doubt recall that the Excise duty was reduced by 6d. a gallon with effect from 14th October, 1953.

New borrowing facilities will be established for the debtor countries, corresponding to their debt repayments and the disbursements from the convertible assets. These arrangements will restore a satisfactory balance in the Union, and its future operation will be simplified by bringing all settlements on to a basis of 50 per cent. gold payment and 50 per cent. credit.