§ Mr. Stainton
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what role was played by the Bank of England officials in the United States and Iran hostage negotiations; and if he will give an assurance that there will be full international co-operation in the event of the movement of large credits by Iran which could otherwise disrupt world currency markets.
§ Sir Geoffrey Howe
The Bank of England agreed to act as depository of certain funds placed with them by the Federal Reserve Bank in connection with the release of the United States hostages. The detailed terms of the technical arrangements remain confidential at this stage. The Bank has been glad to help in the provision of the necessary banking services. Its readiness and ability to do so has been much appreciated. Arrangements were also made in this connection for a gold swap arrangement between the United States and United Kingdom Treasuries. As regards the second half of the question, I cannot provide a general assurance of the kind sought by the hon. Gentleman. But I would expect the position to be manageable in the foreign exchange market and do not foresee any undue disruption.