§ Mr. Peter Rees
The information is collected annually in the overseas transactions inquiry and the latest results, which were for 1979, were published in British Business, 3 July 1981, s 447 and 448, a copy of which is in the Library.
§ Mr. Marlow
Does my hon. and learned Friend agree that people making investment decisions do so on the basis of whether that decision will be profitable, and not purely on the basis of whether Britain is a member of the EEC? Given that we have a massive deficit in trade in manufactures with the European Common Market, is it not possible that in some areas, at least, our present arrangements with the EEC are disbeneficial to potential investors? [HON. MEMBERS: "Disbeneficial?"]
§ Mr. Rees
It is not for me to speculate on the precise motives of those who invest in Wales. I am sure that investors are actuated by calculations of profitability. When considering the profitability of their ventures they must consider whether there is an open market at their doorstep, such as is afforded by the EEC.
§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
To help the House to examine the significant figures that the Minister has mentioned, will he at some stage make a statement on the net investment in and out of Britain in the five years before our membership of the EEC and the net investment in arid out in the last five years? In that context, is he willing to study the superb summary of the appalling drain of total investment published in the Sunday press yesterday?
§ Mr. Rees
I am not aware of any appalling drain. There appears to have been a diversification of portfolio investment, but direct investment has always been possible. It is open to my hon. Friend to table a precise question and if it is directed to me I shall do my best to answer it as faithfully and comprehensively as I can.