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Sterling Convertibility (Correspondence)

Volume 440: debated on Tuesday 22 July 1947

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the official announcement in Washington on 15th July that the U.S. Government has agreed to suspend until 15th September in respect of 14 countries the free convertibility of sterling earned in current transactions, he will publish his correspondence with the U.S. Secretary to the Treasury on this subject; and if he will make a full statement on the matter.

I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT this exchange of letters to which I have nothing to add.

Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that such corrrespondence will be published in this country before it is published in another country?

It would be rash to give any assurance that anything whatever could be published in London before it is published in Washington, if it is known in both places.

Following are the texts of letters exchanged between the Secretary of the United States Treasury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer:

14th July, 1947


As a result of recent consultations between representatives of your Government and representatives of the United States Government and in accordance with the request of your Government, the United States Government has agreed to the postponement until 15th September, 1947, if necessary, of the obligations of your Government under the Anglo-American Financial Agreement in the case of Austria, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Paraguay, Poland. Rumania, Siam, Turkey, the U.S.S.R., and Yugoslavia, with the understanding that upon the date of completion of necessary arrangements with these countries, all sterling accruing to them after 15th July, 1947, will become freely available for current payments in accordance with the Anglo-American Financial Agreement.
It is my understanding that with the exception of the temporary extensions to which the United States Government has agreed in the case of the countries mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the British Government will carry out fully its obligations under Sections 7, 8 (ii) and 10 of the Anglo-American Financial Agreement. I should appreciate your Government's confirmation of this understanding.
Sincerely yours,
Secretary of the Treasury.
Right Honourable HUGH DALTON,
Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Treasury Chambers,
London, England

15th July,


Thank you for your letter of 14th July. 1947, regarding the execution of the Anglo U.S. Financial Agreement dated 6th December, 1945.
In reply I confirm your understanding that, with the exception of the temporary extensions to which the United States Government has agreed in the case of the countries mentioned in the first paragraph of your letter, the British Government is fully carrying out its obligations under Sections 7, 8 (ii) and so of the Anglo-American Financial Agreement
Yours sincerely,
Honourable JOHN W. SNYDER,
Secretary of the Treasury.
Washington. D.C.