HC Deb 13 February 1930 vol 235 cc621-3W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can give any estimate of the amount of British capital annually invested abroad; and of the amount of such capital invested in foreign countries and in British territory overseas?


The amount available for the acquisition of additional investments abroad varies considerably in


The following table shows the total declared value of the undermentioned descriptions of cotton merchandise imported into Great Britain and Northern Ireland during the years 1927, 1928 and 1929 and registered as consigned from Japan (including Formosa and Japanese leased territories in China).

different years. I would refer my hon. Friend to the Board of Trade Journal for 28th February last year, in which it was estimated that, in the years 1926, 1927 and 1928 the amounts so available were £9,000,000, £114,000,000 and £149,000,000. The corresponding figure for 1929 will not be available for a few weeks. As to the division of new investment between Empire countries and foreign countries, the calculations of the Midland Bank, reported for the years 1927, 1928 and 1929 in the Board of Trade Journal for 9th January of this year, show that, in those years, the proportion of the new issues classed as for British countries overseas to those for foreign countries were in the proportion of about three to two. It is not known whether these or other proportions applied to the investment of new savings and the re-investment of sinking funds on former investments abroad, or how far the replacement of one investment abroad by another may have been involved in the subscriptions to the new issues; nor is it known to what extent the subscriptions may have been provided for from the resources of persons not resident in this country. These and similar considerations render it impossible to furnish the precise information for which my hon. Friend has asked.