HC Deb 22 February 1962 vol 654 cc607-8
3. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the combined gross domestic product of the Colonial Territories for 1960; and what annual rate of increase this represents.

Mr. Maudling

The gross domestic product, in 1960, for the Territories for which I am today responsible is estimated at £2,075 million. This represents an annual average rate of increase of about 5½ per cent. over the last five years. Allowing for changes in prices, on the basis of information available for the majority of the Territories, the rate of increase was about 5 per cent.

Mr. Digby

Is this not a little less than before, when the figure was something like 7 per cent.? What steps are being taken to try to retain the rate of increase?

Mr. Maudling

It is certainly a little less than before, but it is difficult to draw deductions from that fact. Of course, a number of Territories, such as Cyprus and Nigeria, have moved out of the sphere on which statistics are based. I do not think that deductions can be drawn from the figures.

Mr. H. Hynd

Does not that rate of increase compare favourably with the sad rate of increase in this country last year?

Mr. Maudling

I anticipated that supplementary question, but the answer is one for my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.