HC Deb 20 June 1961 vol 642 cc1168-9
37. Sir C. Osborne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, since invisible earnings, largely from oil and shipping, fell in the last two years from £229 million to £22 million, and Government expenditure overseas has been on the increase, what steps he is taking to reduce overseas expenditure, especially military expenditure which amounts to over £200 million and so help the balance of payments situation; and if he will make a statement.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)

The serious decline in net invisible earnings is a matter for concern, and I am reviewing with my colleagues ways of reducing Government expenditure overseas.

Sir C. Osborne

How big an increase in invisibles does my right hon. and learned Friend expect this year? Does he not think it reasonable to let the Germans defend their own country and pay the expense themselves?

Mr. Lloyd

The whale question of what used to be called "support costs" in Germany is a matter which is under constant discussion and consideration. As to the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question, I do not anticipate a substantial increase in net earnings from invisibles this year.