HC Deb 28 February 1973 vol 851 cc1475-6
7. Mr. Tilney

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Ghanaian Government are making prompt and adequate payments for the 55 per cent. equity in British mining and timber companies compulsorily acquired by degree; and whether appropriate compensation will be paid in respect of the announced compulsory acquisition of shares in other British and foreign-owned business.

Lord Balniel

Her Majesty's Government have made representations to the Ghanaian Government, reminding them of the need under international law for prompt, adequate and effective compensation for the acquisition of a participating interest in British companies. We have received an assurance that fair compensation will be paid. The Ghanaians are negotiating the terms of participation with the firms concerned.

Mr. Tilney

Has my right hon. Friend any advice to give to firms at present trading in Ghana which for years have been unable to remit any profits? Does not the recent action by the Government of Ghana militate against any fresh investment of Western capital in Ghana or, for that matter, in any nearby African country?

Lord Balniel

A refusal to allow a remittance of earnings and any failure to pay prompt and fair compensation for acquisition must adversely affect investment. The World Bank, on behalf of the Western creditors, presented the Ghanaian Government with proposals for a debt settlement in November 1972 and we are awaiting the Ghanaian Government's response to that proposal.