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Belgian Exports (Sterling Payments)

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1949

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49.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the recent decision of the Belgian Government that Belgian exports to certain countries outside the sterling area can be paid for in sterling will, under the terms of the Anglo-Belgian Payments Agreement, entail any loss of gold to this country.

Our present arrangements with Belgium provide for a limited amount of sterling transfers from third countries. These transfers do, of course, add to the amount of the deficit which has to be settled in gold. The arrangements expire on 30th June next.

Can the Chancellor of the Exchequer say whether in all cases this sterling comes from current accounts and not through releases from blocked sterling balances.