Skip to main content

Gold (Price)

Volume 466: debated on Tuesday 21 June 1949

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the 40,000,000 ounces of gold purchased by the United States of America in 1948 came from the sterling area; and whether he will state the average price paid.

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that the present official price of gold is £8 12s. 3d. per fine ounce and the market price £22 10s., and that the Americans are underpaying to the tune of £560 million? Is it not a ridiculous situation arising out of the Bretton Woods Agreement?

I cannot agree to the figures. It depends on what my hon. Friend thinks is the proper price of gold.

Is the Chancellor aware that the free market price is £22 10s. and that the official so-called monetary price is only £8 12s. 3d.?

Is the Chancellor aware that the sterling area is losing thousands of millions of dollars? What is he going to do about it?

Then why does not the Chancellor charge more for the gold? I shall go on with this, Mr. Speaker?


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much gold was sold to Belgium from the sterling area in 1948; and what was the average price paid.

Figures of our gold and dollar settlements with Belgium since the beginning of the Intra-European Payments Agreement were circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT of 2nd June, in reply to a Question by my hon. Friend. I regret that information about earlier transactions must remain confidential. In reply to the second part of his Question, I would refer him to the answer given by my hon. Friend, the Economic Secretary, on the same day.

That does not make it at all clear to the House. Is the Chancellor aware that 2¼ million ounces of gold were sold to Belgium last year, and was bought for only £20 million instead of approximately £45 million which was the market price? What is he going to do about that?

I beg to give notice that in view of the extremely unsatisfactory way the Chancellor of the Exchequer is dealing with this matter, I shall raise it at the earliest moment on the Adjournment, when I hope he will be here to answer?