HC Deb 14 June 1967 vol 748 cc539-40
37. Mr. Stratton Mills

asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the amount of direct United States investment in Great Britain in each of the last three years and from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development or other sources; and what was the amount of United States investment in the Common Market countries in the same period.

Mr. Jay

As the Answer contains a large number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Stratton Mills

Do these figures show that the United Kingdom has fallen behind in its share of American investment? Is there any evidence to suggest that, if this country were successful in entering the E.E.C., industrial investment by the Americans in this country, particularly in development areas, would show a substantial increase?

Mr. Jay

All the figures show that in recent years there has been a very large investment in this country by American industry. I would not wish to enter into hypothetical questions about the future.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

If the wish of the hon. Member for Belfast, North (Mr. Stratton Mills) were fulfilled, would it not increase the degree of American control over British industry? Would not this be the opposite of what hon. Members opposite wish?

Mr. Jay

I cannot say, because I am not quite sure what the wish is of the hon. Member for Belfast, North (Mr. Stratton Mills).

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Does not the right hon. Gentleman recognise that the wish of the hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Hugh Jenkins) is being frustrated by the double taxation arrangements whereby it is more profitable for an American company to invest in this country than it is for a British company?

Mr. Jay

At present fortunately a great many companies, both American and British, are investing in this country.

Following is the information:

The figures are taken in part from British, and in part from United States statistics, which are compiled on different bases. For investment in the United Kingdom, the United States figures differ from ours, principally because a deduction is made in respect of investment which is in turn made overseas by the British subsidiaries of United States companies, and because transactions may be recorded in different years.

(Board of Trade statistics)
£ million
Country or area of investor 1963 1964 1965 1966
United States† 104 116 145
Other member countries of OECD 55 43 52
Other countries 1 2 -8‡
Total 160 162 189 224§
*Excluding investment in the oil and insurance industries.
†Including Panama.
‡Net disinvestment.
… = Not available.
Investment in 1963 1964 1965
United Kingdom 124 206 324
Common Market Countries 588 807 814

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce.