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Franc Exchange Rate

Volume 400: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1944

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45.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether a rate of exchange for the franc has yet been settled.

Yes, Sir. It has been agreed that the rate shall be fixed at 200 francs to £1.

In view of that reply, can the right hon. Gentleman reconcile the position that has been created by the issue of a special franc for the invasion forces with a reply that he gave on 6th April, 1944, that nothing would be done to prejudice the French franc without previous consultation with the French National Committee?

The reply I gave in April, 1944, was to the effect, if I remember aright, that the rate of exchange would not be fixed without the fullest consultation with the French National Commitee. That assurance has been fully carried out.

Do I understand my right hon. Friend's answer to apply to the authorised French franc in France as well as to the francs which, for some reason, the American Government are proposing to issue?

Will not the Minister seriously consider taking over the banks and thus effectively organising this whole question?

Are these, in fact, Allied military francs, or are they francs issued by some arrangement between the Allies and the National Committee of Liberation?

My answer was concerned solely with the question of the rate of exchange to be fixed as between francs and sterling, and must be understood in that sense.

Having regard to the fact that under modern economic conditions it seems that there should be as many different rates of exchange as possible, will my right hon. Friend arrange for everybody to issue currency and so save a lot of trouble?

Has any member of the Cabinet ever raised the question at a Cabinet meeting of taking over the banks of this country?