Overseas Debt

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th October 1971.

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Photo of Mr Peter Rost Mr Peter Rost , Derbyshire South East 12:00 am, 26th October 1971

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the extent of the United Kingdom's short- and medium-term overseas debt at the latest available date compared to what it was in June, 1970.

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

£415 million now, on the basis of official parities, compared with £1,461 million at the end of June, 1970.

Photo of Mr Peter Rost Mr Peter Rost , Derbyshire South East

As every Labour Administration devalue the pound and lumber the nation with vast overseas debt, and as every Conservative Government have to repay the debt and clear up the mess, would not it be more appropriate if, instead of sneering at the way in which this Government have sorted out the problems, hon. Gentlemen opposite admitted their guilt and congratulated the Government for their achievements?

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

That supplementary question is not entirely for me. I merely say that we have repaid a very great measure of the short- and medium-term debt.

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

Bearing in mind what I believe has been the substantial use of the swap facilities with the New York Federal Reserve Bank in a reverse direction, will the hon. Gentleman say whether there is, net, any short- and medium-term debt now outstanding?

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

These matters have been handled in the usual way, and there is some short- and medium-term debt outstanding.

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

Will the hon. Gentleman tell us how much?

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

Order. I have called the next Question.