HC Deb 30 April 1969 vol 782 c1411
5. Mr. Blaker

asked the President of the Board of Trade why investment in manufacturing industry is less buoyant than investment in the service and distributive trades in periods of cyclical downturn.

Mr. Dell

One of the main reasons is that demand for the output of manufacturing industry is more variable.

Mr. Blaker

While it is gratifying that investment in manufacturing held up better in the last cycle in 1967–68 than in the previous cycle, would not the Minister agree that it does not follow that it is worth spending £473 million a year to achieve that objective when other important objectives have to be given up and it involves the crushing burden of discrimination against the service industries?

Mr. Dell

I do not understand that question. Before 1964, the previous Government were prepared to spend large sums of money by way of investment allowances and free depreciation on creating incentives to investment. We are doing the same thing in the more limited sector of manufacturing industry. This makes a valuable contribution to the economy.