HC Deb 26 July 1999 vol 336 c27W
Mr. Cash

To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of his letter to the President of South Africa relating to the sale of gold, delivered to the President of South Africa on 17 June. [91872]

The Prime Minister

As we announced on 7 May 1999Official Report, column 485, we have undertaken the sale of gold to produce a better balance in the portfolio of UK reserves. On the advice of the Bank of England we made this public to ensure the sale was carried through on a clear and transparent basis. I wrote to the South African President on 11 June to set out these reasons in some detail and to follow up discussions we had already had with his Government. However, the letter also contained information received in confidence from the South African government. It is established practice under Section 1(c) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose such information.

Back to