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Anglo-Swiss Agreement

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 3 March 1949

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the breaking off of trade negotiations by the Swiss Government, he will give favourable consideration to varying tourists' allowances in favour of soft currency countries.

As my hon. Friend will be aware, we have now concluded a satisfactory agreement with the Swiss Government. An announcement will be made very soon on the arrangements for holiday travel abroad in the travel year beginning 1st May.

While welcoming the agreement, which has been made since this Question was put on the Order Paper, may I ask whether the Chancellor subscribes to the suggestion that we should differentiate between hard and soft currency countries in order to encourage people to take their holidays in soft currency countries?

The agreement with Switzerland, which, of course, is a hard currency country, already provides an absolute ceiling for the amount of Swiss francs to be spent in this way.

Does that agreement mean that there will be more foreign currency available for the treatment of people who cannot get treatment in this country for their condition, and who wish to go to Switzerland for their treatment?