Orders of the Day — International Monetary Arrangements Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:12 pm on 11th July 1983.

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Photo of Mr Enoch Powell Mr Enoch Powell , South Down 5:12 pm, 11th July 1983

I appreciate that. I am only disagreeing with the right hon. and learned Gentleman about his tense—when the price of oil "had" risen. The rise in the price of oil was made possible by the simultaneous increase in the volume of debt, direct and indirect—the recycling as it was called. No recycling, no price hike—as the Americans, I gather, call it.

When the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth, appealing to my better nature as he sometimes does, asks me to contemplate the situation of a country where perfectly good commercial operations require to be financed, I do not shrink back in the least. First, it was these very loans, these very institutions, this very assumption of do-gooding on the part of some of the greediest and wickedest forces in the world, which were the initial cause of the misery and difficulties of the developing countries. Secondly, if there is a genuine commercial proposition anywhere in the world, be it in the poorest country, that proposition will be properly and commercially funded. The embarrassments of the developing countries are the fruit of what has been done by the international organisations.

I conclude with an obeisance, which is only due, to the hon. Member for Bolsover. He is fundamentally right when he says that this is a bankers' ramp. The private bankers in the various nations extended these loans—unjustifiable commercially and politically, which financed among other things the weapons used against this country—in the confidence that they would be seen all right when there was trouble by talking about the world financial system and our economic and commercial interests. Why were they so sure that this would be done? They were sure because these organisations are themselves the creatures of the banks. This is the connection which the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth apprehended well in his references to President Reagan. They are not erected—that is only the blurb—to enable people to do good to their fellow men. They are erected to see that the major commercial interests are sustained — more than that, can engage in uncommercial operations to make interest and profits upon operations which will yield those interests and profits only if they are sustained internationally.

Even that word "internationally" is a fallacy, because in the end the burden comes back on to the backs of the people of each country concerned. There is a giveaway phrase in the explanatory memorandum on clauses with which we were provided. In paragraph 5 on clause 1 it says: The GAB provisions have no direct expenditure implications. When we come to clause 2, however, it says: In view of the contingent risk to public expenditure, the Treasury seeks and so on. It is in part out of the taxpayers of this country and out of their work and production that this vast bankers' ramp, presented as if it were a worldwide benevolent enterprise, will be financed in the end. That is why, with great delight, I shall take the opportunity vouchsafed to me by Her Majesty's Opposition of voting tonight against the proposition that the Bill be read a Second time.