§ 61. Mr. Russell
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the United Kingdom's imports and exports are financed by the mechanism of acceptance credit, giving the figures for Commonwealth and foreign countries, respectively.
§ Mr. Barber
I regret that the information is not available. It may be of some interest, however, that the value of imports and exports taken together, on a balance of payments basis, was £1,911 million in the fourth quarter of 1959, while the value of sterling acceptances given by United Kingdom banks to nonresidents was £134 million at the end of December. £121 million of this was to the non-sterling world. These figures of acceptances granted cover, however, not only United Kingdom trade but also trade between countries overseas.
§ 62. Mr. Biggs-Davison
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the contribution during each of the last three years of each member of the 128W sterling area to its gold and dollar reserves; and what proportion of those reserves have been used, under the authority of the Bank of England, for acceptance credit.
§ Mr. Barber
It is not the practice to provide estimates for individual countries. Transfers of gold and foreign exchange from the rest of the sterling area as a whole to the United Kingdom are shown in the Balance of Payments White Papers and totalled £666 million in the three years 1957–1959. This was used to cover the area's overall deficit with the United Kingdom.
There is little connection between these transfers from the rest of the sterling area and the amount of acceptance credits which increased by £8 million over the same period.