HC Deb 16 February 1955 vol 537 cc58-60W
104. Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the amount of sterling reserves held by each Colony; and the proportion of such reserves held by commercial banks operating in the Colony concerned, by colonial currency boards, by marketing boards, and by way of free reserves, respectively.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) on 27th January, 1954, by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State. For the reason given therein, I am unable to publish the detailed analysis for which my hon. and gallant Friend asks: but a considerable amount of relevant published material exists and this is being extracted. When this work is completed, the results will be sent to my hon. and gallant Friend.

105. Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what proportion of the sterling currency reserves held on behalf of the Colonies was invested in 1953 and 1954, respectively, in securities maturing within two and 10 years, respectively.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

According to the latest information available, in each case the reserves of the East African, West African, Malaya and British Borneo, and British Caribbean Currency Boards, which together comprise about 75 per cent. of the total colonial currency reserves, were held in the following proportions (calculated on the latest date of maturity of each holding):

1953 1954
Per cent. Per cent.
At call (i.e. in cash or Treasury Bills) 10 60 7 70
In investments maturing in 1 to 5 years 31 43
In investments maturing in 6 to 10 years 19 20
In investments maturing in 11 to 15 years 24 21
In investments maturing in more than 15 years 16 9

The pattern of investment of the remainder of the colonial currency reserves does not materially affect the above figures.

106. Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Colonies have applied to him for authority to invest part of their sterling reserves in locally-issued securities; what is the total value of such application; how many have been accepted; and what is their value in sterling.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I presume that my hon. and gallant Friend refers to my proposal that a part of the colonial currency reserve funds might be invested in locally issued securities. Eleven Governments out of the 37 asked have so far welcomed the proposal, and the amounts that might be invested in their locally issued securities are now being worked out in consultation with them.