HC Deb 28 January 1969 vol 776 cc1100-1
Q1. Mr. Winnick

asked the Prime Minister which Ministers have special responsibility for controlling the outflow of capital and overseas investment.

Q6. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Prime Minister which Ministers have special responsibilities for the inflow of capital investment from overseas.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

These matters are within the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. Winnick

Is not stronger action required to defend our currency and our country against some of the speculators in the City, who are politically motivated at this time? Is my right hon. Friend aware that many people consider that, while the Labour Government are in office, the real House of Lords is the City of London, and some of the people working there do not seem very keen about democracy and the Parliamentary process?

The Prime Minister

I have noted my hon. Friend's views. The Question asked which Minister was responsible. I have no doubt that my hon. Friend will seize a suitable opportunity to put Questions to the responsible Minister.

Mr. Ridsdale

On the question of policy as regards making it easy for foreign capital to take over British industry too cheaply, as an alternative to protectionist policies will the Prime Minister stop attacking British capital, encourage savings and stop the overtaxing of capital?

The Prime Minister

The Question asks which Minister has responsibility, and that Minister is my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was busy answering Questions when I intervened at 3.15. He has further Questions down. If I get through these Questions fast enough, he will still be answering Questions.

Mr. Maclennan

What arrangements exist for co-ordination of policy between the Minister of Overseas Development and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor in matters of overseas investment?

The Prime Minister

The same as in all relationships between the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary and spending Departments.

Mr. Farr

Has not devaluation made it easier for foreign firms to invest in this country, and, as some sections of our industry are now wholly owned by overseas interests, will the position be looked at afresh?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Gentleman knows of the power which my right hon. Friend is able to exercise in each case on its merits in relation to foreign and other overseas bids for British firms.