HC Deb 15 July 1976 vol 915 cc260-1W
37. Sir David Renton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much Her Majesty's Government have obtained from overseas by way of loans and credit facilities since 28th February 1974; how much of that has been spent; how much of the Government's overseas debt has been repaid since that date; and what is the total amount now owed by the Government to overseas creditors.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

I assume that the right hon. and learned Member is referring to foreign currency borrowing by Her Majesty's Government. Since 28th February 1974, $2,500 million has been borrowed from the clearing banks and SDR 1,700 million from the I.M.F., none of which is due for repayment for some time. There have, however, been repayments of around $200 million on long-term debts, most of which date back to the Second World War. Medium and long-term debt outstanding now totals some $8,600 million. In addition there have been some drawings on the $5.3 billion standby facility, but their extent is not being revealed at present.

The proceeds of all these loans are paid into the Exchange Equalisation Account, where they add to reserves. Total reserves were $5,966 million at end-February 1974, and $5,312 million at end-June 1976. Changes in the reserves are the net result of a variety of transactions in both directions, and it is not possible to say which receipts were used to meet which payments, or whether particular loans have been spent.