HC Deb 08 July 1969 vol 786 cc1145-6
15. Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will seek powers to control the money management policies of large companies whose actions adversely affect the position of sterling.

Mr. Diamond

I see no need for powers additiontal to those contained in the Exchange Control Act, 1947, and the Income Tax Act, 1952.

Mr. Jenkins

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that it is becoming realised more and more that international companies have facilities for moving money round the place—which may not be patriotic and is certainly derogatory to sterling but which none the less is an increasing practice? Will he look at the problem?

Mr. Diamond

We have adequate powers to do so and naturally we are concerned to see that sterling does not suffer in any way.

Mr. Barnett

Can my right hon. Friend specify the powers that he has? Did he see the recent article which alleged that international companies are manipulating funds and profits across the exchanges? Can he tell us what powers he has and what evidence he has of the truth of these allegations?

Mr. Diamond

Yes. I saw the article. To answer my hon. Friend's question about the powers that we have, there are three main ones. The first is the control of the purchase and holding of foreign currency. The second is the control of investment both outward and inward. The third is the power to require proper and prompt payment for exports. As for the Income Tax Act, the Revenue has power to prevent a company resident for tax purposes from gaining any tax advantage by artificially pricing goods sold to associated companies overseas.