HC Deb 03 November 1959 vol 612 cc843-4
26. Mr. Bellenger

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many inquiries or proposals from American sources for the building or leasing of factories in the United Kingdom have been cancelled since the operation of the European Common Market.

Mr. Maudling

I am aware of one American firm which has decided, since the beginning of the year, to establish a manufacturing unit in a Common Market country rather than in the United Kingdom. There has, however, been no falling off in the number of inquiries from American firms considering manufacture here.

Mr. Bellenger

Does not that statement conflict with reports from the United States Office of Business Economics, which definitely state that American capital investment is being switched to the Common Market countries from this country? Surely, if his own office is up to date, it must have more accurate information than that coming from this source?

Mr. Maudling

We are up to date, and possibly more accurate. This is a very important matter and has caused me very considerable concern, but our figures show that the number of new American manufacturing projects that have received exchange approval is about as high this year as it was last year. We know that about twenty American firms are considering establishing themselves in this country. That is very encouraging, but me must watch the matter very carefully.

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