Exchange Equalisation Account.

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance. – in the House of Commons on 1st March 1934.

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Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

33.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give to this House information regarding the operation and objective of the Exchange Equalisation Account similar to that given recently by Professor Sprague, the former economic adviser to the Bank of England, before the committee on bank and currency of the house of representatives in the United States of America?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

As regards the objective of the Exchange Equalisation Account, Dr. Sprague, so far as I can see from such newspaper reports as have reached me, simply gave the correct account of it which I have frequently stated to the House, namely that it is to reduce as much us possible fluctuations in the exchange value of the pound and not to raise or depress it artificially. As regards the operations of the fund details could not be given without jeopardising its value and I think the House has always appreciated this point.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Have not these details already been given to the House of Representatives in America, and is it a fact that Professor Sprague stated on one occasion that the account ceased to operate owing to the absence of francs and dollars?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I think the details, such as have been given in the accounts which have reached me, related to the first or experimental period of the Account and are not of any particular importance or interest.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer be good enough to give to the House of Commons the same kind of information as has already been given to a foreign Parliament? Are we not entitled to it?

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Would there be any real risk in giving an account of the first or experimental Account?

Photo of Mr David Mason Mr David Mason , Edinburgh East

Can the right hon. Gentleman hold out any prospect of this fund being wound up at an early date.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

No, Sir.