§ Mr. Lawson
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his best estimate of the total inflow of foreign currency to the United Kingdom reserves as a result of the measures taken in November 1976 to prohibit the sterling finance of third country trade.
§ Mr. Robert Sheldon :
No further estimates have been made since that given to the hon. Member for Hitchin (Mr. Stewart) on 29th March 1977 [Cols. 114-115]. That estimate was given as onesubstantially greater than the original estimate of £0.5 billion ".
It is still not possible to be at all precise, but it seems likely that the stock of sterling lending repaid by overseas residents as a result of this exchange control measure was around £1 billion. It is impossible to say how much of this was subsequently refinanced in foreign currency.
§ Mr. Ridley
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in what assets the Treasury's foreign currency reserves are invested ; and what return is being earned on those assets.