Sterling Balances.

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance. – in the House of Commons on 30th January 1940.

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Photo of Sir Joseph Leech Sir Joseph Leech , Newcastle upon Tyne West

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that, owing to refusal of the British exchange control to allow foreign owners to transfer their sterling balances through official channels, transfers are made through an unofficial market without restraint; and what steps he is taking to maintain London as the principal financial centre and to enable His Majesty's Government effectively to prevent losses of some of their gold resources and resulting damage to British overseas trade caused by an unofficial exchange market?

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

The exchange control permits foreign owners of sterling balances to make payments for goods and services in the sterling area, and to transfer them to the accounts of other non-residents, and this brings advantages, both to British overseas trade and to the position of London as a financial centre. I do not think therefore that under present conditions the injurious results suggested ought to occur.