HC Deb 12 April 1984 vol 58 c344W
Sir John Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Zimbabwe Government about exchange restrictions adversely affecting British citizens; and with what results.

Mr. Rifkind

We appreciate that these new exchange control restrictions will cause difficulties. On 9 April I met the Zimbabwe Finance Minister, who gave an assurance that the controls are temporary—though they do include a permanent procedure for clearing blocked funds over a number of years—and that hardship cases will be considered sympathetically. While exchange controls are an internal matter for the Zimbabwe Government to regulate, we will continue to impress upon them the problems which their restrictions cause, particularly in cases involving hardship and the elderly. The controls reflect Zimbabwe's severe shortage of foreign exchange, made even worse by the need to import large amounts of food following three years of drought.