HC Deb 09 February 1961 vol 634 c602
14. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the decline of shipping earnings for invisible exports over the last year, to the nearest convenient date.

Mr. Barber

The latest available estimates of the net contribution of British shipping to the balance of payments collected by the General Council of British Shipping, show that there was a decline of £35 million in 1959 as compared with 1958. Although the figures for 1960 are not yet available, there does not appear to have been any further decline.

Mr. Digby

Is it not a fact that there has been a very great decline since 1952, when the figure was more than double? Is this not serious from the economic as well as the national point of view? Will my hon. Friend ask his right hon. and learned Friend to look at the shipping industry sympathetically in view of these figures?

Mr. Barber

I agree with my hon. Friend that there has been a considerable decline over the years since 1952, and I am sure that my right hon. and learned Friend will take note of what he has said.