HC Deb 28 January 1970 vol 794 cc1523-4
2. Mr. Blaker

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state the result of his recent meeting with the committee on invisible exports.

4. Mr. Tom Boardman

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action Her Majesty's Government now propose to take on the recommendations contained in the report, "Britain's Invisible Earnings", published in October, 1967; and if he will make a statement.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Roy Mason)

The meeting gave me an opportunity to explain the increased attention which the Board of Trade will be giving to the promotion of exports of services. Action has already been taken on many of the recommendations and consideration is being given to a number of others.

Mr. Blaker

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the net contribution of private invisible earnings to the balance of payments is running at the moment at twice the rate of the favourable balance of payments as a whole? In his capacity as Minister responsible for invisible exports, will he lend the greatest weight, in the consultations he will be having with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, particularly to the recent paper put to him by the Committee on Invisible Exports about the tax burden?

Mr. Mason

I will certainly consider what the hon. Gentleman has said. It is right that the Committee should ask me to submit the paper on taxation to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I understand that the Committee will be submitting one on the selective employment tax. Invisibles are running at a favourable balance of an average of £40 million a month.

Mr. Ridley

Will the right hon. Gentleman take the opportunity to congratulate the earners of these exports on their magnificent achievement despite the crippling restrictions of the Government?

Mr. Mason

Despite the restrictions to which the hon. Gentleman refers, they are doing extremely well and I did congratulate them when I was at the Committee.

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