• Short Summary

    The leader of the Opposition Conservative Party in Britain. Mr. Edward Heath, appeared on television?

  • Description

    Extract from Mr. Heath's television broadcast; part of television interview with M. Schweitzer.

    MR. HEATH: "The Government have failed in one of its foremost duties to the British people. The Government did so having denied 20 times in 37 months that they would ever devalue the pound. They did so against all their own arguments, knowing, in Mr. Callaghan's own words, that they were reducing the real wage standards of every member of the working class of this country. They did it knowing that they were breaking faith with all those countries who had put their trust in Britain. They devalued in the worst possible way at the worst possible time. Last week muddle and uncertainty led to a massive flight from the pound in which hundreds of millions of pounds left the country. This is where the failure of their policies and the mismanagement of our affairs have led them. As Mr. Wilson himself said a few years ago, devaluation is an acknowledgement of defeat. Last Saturday night was defeat. It was a confession of failure; an admission that all the sacrifices of the British people over the last three years, the squeeze, the freeze, the stagnation of production, the deliberate increase in unemployment, and the extra GBP1,000 million in taxation, had all been in vain. Yes, it was defeat, and there is nothing for the government to be proud of in that."

    REPORTER: "Why is it taking so long to arrange the loan and confirm it?"

    SCHWEITZER: "Well it doesn't take very long. Our normal procedure means that we have to send a mission to discuss the terms of the agreement to agree on a policy statement. That normally takes any time from two to three weeks. In the case of the United Kingdom we are fully satisfied that the policy which your Government has already announced is matching all our requirements so I think it will take only a few days to finalise our arrangements. I have no doubt about the outcome."

    REPORTER: "So the British Government and the foreign exchange dealers can take it as assured that the loan will be forthcoming?"

    SCHWEITZER: "I think they are perfectly entitled to feel assured."

    Initials AA/V-TELE/RM/OS

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The leader of the Opposition Conservative Party in Britain. Mr. Edward Heath, appeared on television tonight (Monday) to talk about the devaluation of the pound. British television practice allows the opposition party to make a nation-wide broadcast after the Prime Minister on a controversial issue of major importance. Mr. Heath said the devaluation of the pound was a defeat for the Labour Party's policies. He attacked the prices and incomes "freeze" and said the deflation and unemployment policies had all been in vain.

    In an interview by satellite the Director-General of the International Monetary Fund, Pierre-Paul Schweitzer, in Washington, D.C. told reporters in London that he was confident that Britain would received the huge loan it had asked for and accounted for the delay in an official announcement.

    Here is part of Mr. Heath's broadcast.....

    One of the financial measures taken by the British Government has been to apply to the International Monetary Fund for an immediate standby of 1,400 million U.S. dollars (GBP583 million at the new rate), but there has been no official announcement that the application has been granted. A reporter in London questioned M. Schweitzer about this.....

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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