§ VISCOUNT MASSEREENE AND FERRARD
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the second Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper, and I also declare an interest.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what action, if any, is being taken on the freezing of British and other foreign investors' dividends in Ceylon.]
§ LORD TAYLOR
My Lords, the Government have made strong recommendations to the Ceylon Government about the adverse effect on British businesses and individuals of a number of measures taken by the Ceylon Government since July. These representations are in line with those made by the previous Government. The measures that were taken by the Ceylon Government on which representations have been made include suspension of the remittance of interest, profits and dividends. The most recent 92 of our representations was made by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations during the course of a talk with the Ceylon Finance Minister on November 16.
§ LORD ALPORT
My Lords, may I ask whether any action has been taken by the Ceylon Government to meet the views of Her Majesty's Government in this matter?
§ LORD TAYLOR
Yes my Lords. As has been stated in another place, we have received assurances that it is not the policy of the Government of Ceylon to squeeze out British-owned businesses, and that the recent Budget measures were intended primarily to safeguard Ceylon's foreign exchange reserves; that individual cases of hardship will be considered by the Ceylon authorities, and that there is no desire whatever on the part of the Ceylon Government to discriminate against British interests.