Sterling Exchange Rate

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th October 1949.

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Photo of Mr Luke Teeling Mr Luke Teeling , Brighton 12:00 am, 18th October 1949

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he proposes to take to protect the tourist industry, in view of devaluation and the possible resulting rise in costs to hotels, restaurants and places of entertainment for foreign visitors bringing dollars and other foreign exchange to this country.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

None at present. I hope that increases in internal costs and prices will be avoided as far as possible.

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Orpington

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Empire and foreign Governments he consulted and informed, respectively, before he announced the decision of His Majesty's Government to devalue the pound.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

Either directly or through the International Monetary Fund, I informed all Commonwealth Governments, all members of the Fund and of the Or-ganisation for European Economic Co-operation, and the Governments of Burma, Iraq and Israel. Communications were made by His Majesty's Government to the Governments of Belgium, France and the Netherlands in accordance with the provisions for consultation in our Monetary Agreements with those countries.

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Orpington

Did the right hon. and learned Gentleman delay that announcement to all the other countries because he did not dare admit the utter failure, owing to his folly, of the Socialist administration?

Photo of Professor Douglas Savory Professor Douglas Savory , Queen's University of Belfast

Is not the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware of the great dissatisfaction expressed by the French Government at the lack of notice given to them on devaluation? Was the notice in accordance with the Treaty of Dunkirk?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

Yes; we gave the notice in accordance with the practicabilities of the situation. seeing that we had to safeguard our own reserves. We gave as long a notice as possible.