Would the Prime Minister agree that as the United States and Britain are simultaneously trying to correct their balance of payments difficulties this will create an urgent situation? Is he satisfied that the Government are treating this matter urgently? Could he tell us, if not now, then when the Chancellor returns from Washington, what the Government have in mind towards increasing international liquidity?
I have felt for a long time that this is a highly urgent matter, quite irrespective of the balance of payments problem of individual countries. I should be very glad to send the hon. Gentleman the lengthy and detailed speech I made on this more than two years ago. I do not need him, or any of those who are moaning, to tell me about the urgency of the problem of liquidity. So far as my right hon. Friend is concerned, the urgency is shown by the fact that he has had discussions with the French Finance Minister, who has taken an initiative in this field and will be in Washington later today, discussing this matter with the Secretary to the Treasury of the United States Government.
The hon. Gentleman is getting a little wide of the subject. So far as international liquidity is concerned, this requires—as the late Government found because they also took an interest in this matter—the agreement, in the first instance, of some 10 countries who have different views on this, and ultimately the agreement of 100 or so members of the International Monetary Fund. I do not, therefore, quite see the relevance of the hon. Gentleman's suggestion.