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Anglo-Indian Discussions

Volume 466: debated on Tuesday 21 June 1949

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any statement to make on the recent Anglo-Indian financial discussions.

Discussions on the working of the financial agreement with India was recently initiated in New Delhi and are being continued in London. I hope to be able to make a statement in due course.

Since these balances have now been reduced by half, can the Chancellor give any undertaking that no further releases will be made until counter-claims have been made by His Majesty's Government and accepted by the Government of India?

If that is so, will the Chancellor make clear to the House that he stands with His Majesty's Government committed to this policy of making counter-claims? In the last three years there have been many opportunities for so doing, but none have been made, and will the Chancellor now make clear to this House when he thinks it will be possible for His Majesty's Government to make such a counter-claim?

In view of the very disastrous effect that the wrong use of these Indian balances has brought about on our unrequited exports, and in view of their vital importance at this moment to our export trade, will he take that into account in the further negotiations?

We always take into account how much unrequited exports are lost to us.

Do the present negotiations in fact cover the possibility of His Majesty's Government putting in counter-claims?

No. The present negotiations deal with the question of how much release of sterling and how much dollar requirements India as a member of the sterling area requires in the coming 12 months.

Then will the Chancellor now make it clear that in fact His Majesty's Government do not mean to make counter-claims?