Sterling (Exchange Rate)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th December 1949.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Skinnard Mr Frederick Skinnard , Harrow East 12:00 am, 6th December 1949

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the travel agency of Thomas Cook and Son, in New York, are selling sterling at the rate of 2.70 dollars; and what action he proposes to take to compel the firm to observe the official exchange rate.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I am having this matter investigated, but it would be helpful if my hon. Friend would let me have full details.

Photo of Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite , Holderness

Was this firm nationalised under the Transport Act, and does this Question refer to a subsidiary in New York, which is in a world of reality?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I understand that Messrs. Thomas Cook & Son are owned by the Railways—

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

Yes, British Transport—and, therefore, to that extent they come under the control of the British Transport Commission. I am now making inquiries.

Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Sutton Coldfield

Then is not this a day-to-day matter for the Transport Commission?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I am making inquiries whether it happened.

Photo of Mr Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre Mr Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre , New Forest and Christchurch

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the continued fall during the last week of the pound sterling in markets where the pound is freely convertible, he can state what additional action is contemplated by His Majesty's Government to ensure that transferable and convertible sterling released by His Majesty's Government is only dealt with at official parity rates.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer which I gave to his question on this subject on 29th November. There has been no significant change in the situation during the past week.

Photo of Mr Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre Mr Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre , New Forest and Christchurch

Is not the Chancellor aware that in Zurich, Milan and Paris sterling has now reached a new low level? Surely, unless urgent action is taken by the Government, the Chancellor will find himself in exactly the same position as he did before devaluation, having to repudiate 14 statements which he had made that he would not devalue.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

If people in this country do not go out of their way to decry the stability of sterling it will be all right.