HC Deb 30 April 1969 vol 782 cc1419-20
22. Mr. Dempsey

asked the President of the Board of Trade what percentage of industry in the United Kingdom economy is owned and controlled by United States interests; and in what way he estimates that this trend will develop within the next few years.

Mr. Dell

It is estimated that 6 to 7 per cent. of the net assets of non-financial companies are both owned and controlled in the United States. Present expectations are that this proportion will continue gradually to increase.

Mr. Dempsey

American industrialists are good employers and we want factories in development areas, but can my hon. Friend say whether any initiative will be launched to encourage our own domestic industry to expand to a greater extent?

Mr. Dell

Many initiatives have been taken to encourage British industry to expand in precisely that way. I note my hon. Friend's welcome for the contribution made by American investment in manufacturing in this country.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Will the Minister point out to his hon. Friend the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) that he cheerfully supported the Corporation Tax system, which makes British industry a sitting duck for American intervention? Will he make representations to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to change the tax system?

Mr. Dell

I do not know that the rate of American take-over of British firms is any higher now than it was under the Government of hon. Members opposite. Certainly the Government have powers of control in cases where they feel that it would be contrary to the national interest for there to be a take-over.