HC Deb 03 August 1965 vol 717 cc1257-8
15. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what evidence he has of abnormal remission or repatriation of funds to America by United States controlled companies operating here; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Callaghan

Direct investment in the United Kingdom, most of which comes from the United States, was £13 million in the first quarter of this year, compared with an average quarterly rate of £45 million in 1964, excluding oil. This reduction was largely in reinvested earnings. Preliminary evidence suggests that remittances have returned to a more normal level in the second quarter.

Mr. Digby

Is not this a serious matter? Is it not a matter in which, although, as one must recognise, the Americans have their own difficulties, the Government should make representations to the United States Government because they are giving us no help whatever?

Mr. Callaghan

The hon. Member may assume that there are continual conversations about this matter. This is one of the difficulties which arises when countries that are in deficit, especially those which are reserve currency countries, are pressed to solve their balance of payments problems. My right hon. Friend the First Secretary wrote a letter to the chairmen of companies in this country asking them to remit from abroad earnings which they had there. This is one of the vicious circles from which the world must escape within the next few years if we are to ensure that world trade and the world monetary system continue to support the needs of the people of the world.