Will the Chancellor subscribe to the philosophical proposition that the combination of stagnating exports, rising imports and rising unemployment suggests a prima facie case for adjustment of the exchange rate? If not, what condition would he regard as indicating the need for devaluation?
I see no occasion—if the hon. Gentleman is hinting that we should devalue—for the British £ to be devalued. The slackening in exports at the moment is not due to any result of failure of competitive power on the part of the British economy but to slowing down in the growth of world trade, particularly in Germany and the United States. I am glad to say that my current discussions with the Finance Ministers in London show that they believe that there is an indication that trade in both their countries is likely to resume a faster pace towards the end of this year.