asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the present position of the Bank for International Settlements; whether he proposes to continue membership of an international financial institution, a majority of whose directors are enemy nationals, and whether he will cause information to be laid before this House in an appropriate form of the transactions between the Bank of England and the Bank for International Settlements?
On the outbreak of war, the Bank for International Settlements decided to maintain a strictly neutral attitude, and I am satisfied that this decision is being carried out. The Bank of England has entered into no fresh business with the Bank for International Settlements since the outbreak of war. It is not proposed to change our connection with the Bank for International Settlements, for the reasons explained in a reply given to the hon. Member for Southampton (Dr. Thomas) on 9th October, 1940, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy.
How does the Bank maintain a strictly neutral attitude, when the vast majority of its directors are under enemy control? Does my right hon. Friend not think, particularly in view of the fact that no transactions have taken place during the war, that it is time to wind up this institution?
No, Sir. As was pointed out in the reply to which I have referred my hon. Friend, this country has various interests under a trust agreement in relation to this matter.