• Short Summary

    The annual conference of Commonwealth Finance Ministers was opened on Thursday (September 17) by President Makarios of Cyprus.

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    The annual conference of Commonwealth Finance Ministers was opened on Thursday (September 17) by President Makarios of Cyprus. Thirty-one Commonwealth nations were represented.

    The two-day conference was organised by the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with the Cyprus government, whose Finance Minister, Mr. Andreas Patsalides, officiated as chairman during the meetings.

    The question of Great Britain's entry into the European Common Market was one of the topics discussed. Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Anthony Barber assured the finance ministers that their governments would be kept fully informed of Britain's progress in her attempts to join the European Economic Community.

    Commonwealth sources said that they were fully satisfied with mr. Barber's explanation of Britain's position regarding the Common Market. A communique issued on Friday reaffirmed that Britain's general negotiating position was the same as that laid down for the previous government by the then Foreign Secretary George Brown.

    Finance ministers at the conference also discussed the possibility of linking special drawing rights with development aid. This possibility was particularly stressed by ministers from developing countries in the Commonwealth, in view of the forthcoming meeting in Copenhagen of World Bank governors.

    It was agreed at the conference that this proposal should again be seriously considered in 1972 when the International Monetary Fund makes the next allocations of special drawing rights to member nations.

    The Ministers noted that measures to combat inflation in developed countries were adversely affecting the export prospects of developing countries.

    A final communique at the end of the two-day meeting said next year's Finance Ministers' meeting would be held in the Bahamas.

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