HC Deb 11 July 1968 vol 768 c718
16. Sir B. Rhys Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what study he has made of the effect of prolonged high interest rates on the scale of investment in projects aimed at import substitution.

Mr. Frederick Lee

The Government keep the level of manufacturing investment under constant review, but my right hon. Friend has no evidence that high interest rates have any marked effect on projects aimed at import substitution.

Sir B. Rhys Williams

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that the Government's policies of fixed wages, high taxes, restricted investment and low profits are exactly what one would expect to produce a stagnant, backward economy? Where is the economic miracle coming from—still more short-term overseas borrowing?

Mr. Lee

The Government regret the need to keep interest rates at their present level. The reviews that we and other independent people have made show that high interest rates are not necessarily one of the more restrictive factors for investment.