HC Deb 08 April 1952 vol 498 cc2488-9
54. Sir John Mellor

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will now permit United Kingdom companies to emigrate to British territories within the sterling area without let or hindrance.

Mr. R. A. Butler

No, Sir. In any case, this is too large an issue to be dealt with satisfactorily in a Parliamentary answer.

Sir J. Mellor

Does my right hon. Friend recollect that on 21st February the Financial Secretary to the Treasury said that this matter would be under review in connection with the Finance Bill, and will he bear in mind that a ring fence keeps capital out as well as in?

Mr. Butler

There is not a ring fence, according to the instructions which are at present being operated, but I agree that this and many other matters will come up for discussion on the later stages of the Finance Bill.

Mr. Douglas Jay

Does not the absence of any such provision in this year's Finance Bill show that, in the Chancellor's opinion, a great deal of nonsense was talked last year by hon. Members opposite, and particularly by the present Secretary of State for the Colonies?

Mr. Butler

I should not like to confine the nonsense which was talked to one side of the House or the other.

Mr. Hugh Gaitskell

Did the Chancellor say that this matter would come up in connection with the Finance Bill, and do we understand from that that the Government propose to put down new Clauses on this subject?

Mr. Butler

The right hon. Gentleman is going a little too far. I have studied several Finance Bills before, and I am certain that every relevant subject will come up. I have not given any indication of any initiative which the Government may take.