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Sterling Balances

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 17 May 1949

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total in each year from 1945, and in 1949 to the latest convenient date, of sums withdrawn from sterling balances by other countries in agreement with His Majesty's Government.

As these sums are very large, and as they constitute a charge upon our productivity and result in exports for which we receive no return, can the hon. Gentleman say what action the Government are taking to cut down these releases to ensure that everything we make brings some return by way of imports to this country?

As the hon. and gallant Gentleman is aware, we have made and are making a number of agreements for the special purpose of limiting these releases.