HC Deb 09 February 1956 vol 548 cc1790-1
22. Mr. Jay

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the policy of the Government in relation to the encouragement or discouragement of industrial investment at the present time.

Sir E. Boyle

The Government have consistently recognised the need for a high level of investment in productive industry, both public and private, if we are to achieve a rising standard of living and if Britain is to pay her way in increasingly competitive world markets. Nevertheless at present, the very rapid upsurge in investment is a major cause of the excess of total demand on our resources. It was for this reason that my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal, when he introduced his Budget proposals on 26th October—OFFICIAL REPORT, column 220—stated that he hoped that all those concerned with investment programmes would enforce a stricter order of priority and move more slowly for the time being.

Mr. Jay

As the Government at present are discouraging industrial investment by their dear money policy and encouraging it by means of the investment allowance, and as both these operations cost a lot of public money, would the Government not make up their mind more clearly than is indicated in that answer as to which they want to do, and so make a saving on one side or the other?

Sir E. Boyle

The right hon. Gentleman asked about the objectives of Government policy and I tried to give a full and explicit answer on that point.

Mr. Albu

Will the hon. Gentleman say what is the Government's attitude towards the present expansion of the finance of the motor car industry in view of the fact that it failed to expand its exports last year?

Sir E. Boyle

Perhaps the hon. Member will put a Question on the Order Paper on that point.

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