Bank of England

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th November 1966.

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Photo of Mr James Dickens Mr James Dickens , Lewisham West 12:00 am, 30th November 1966

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will move to set up a Select Committee to consider matters relating to the Bank of England.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I doubt whether the House would favour the setting up of a Select Committee to deal with such a matter.

Photo of Mr James Dickens Mr James Dickens , Lewisham West

If my right hon. Friend will not set up a Select Committee, will he at least consider two aspects of the accountability of the Bank to this House; namely, first, can we in future have the Bank's annual report and accounts published as a Command Paper in the usual way as for other public corporations, and, secondly, can we have an early debate on the Bank's most recent annual report and accounts in view of the fact that this House has not debated these documents for the past 20 years—that is, since the Bank was nationalised in 1946?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

To answer the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question, yes, Sir, I will certainly consider his suggestion. The answer to the second part is that I will certainly also reflect on that, but I do not think that I can promise such a debate for the immediate future.

Photo of Mr Stratton Mills Mr Stratton Mills , Belfast North

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that on at least two occasions the independence and international integrity of the Bank of England has saved the Government from devaluation?

Hon. Members:

Answer.