HC Deb 02 February 1967 vol 740 cc756-7
26. Mr. Onslow

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what total of British private investment in developing countries will need to be achieved in the year 1967–68 if the flow of financial resources from Great Britain to those countries is to achieve the level of one per cent. of national income in that year.

Mr. Bottomley

I regret that no precise answer can be given since a number of the factors involved, such as the level of national income, can only be estimated. It is, however, my expectation that we shall meet the one per cent. target.

Mr. Onslow

While appreciating that the Minister does not have the faintest idea of what the G.N.P. will be in 12 months' time, assuming that he wishes to achieve a figure of 1 per cent. and to see that level maintained—although it is a quite arbitrary and meaningless figure in economic terms—how can he expect private enterprise to increase its investment in developing countries if the Government persist in pursuing their present policies?

Mr. Bottomley

In view of the economic situation and the way in which it affects both Government aid and private investment overseas—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."]—it is hoped that, despite our economic difficulties, both Government aid and private investment will be increased.

Mr. James Johnson

Does this Question make any sense at all, bearing in mind that if one looks carefully at the two parts of it they appear to have no connection whatever?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Is not the right hon. Gentleman's task of finding 1 per cent. of the national income for this purpose being made progressively easier for him by the successful efforts of his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reduce the national income?

Hon. Members