§ LORD WILMOT OF SELMESTON
asked Her Majesty's Government whether they can give any information as to the extent of the use of variable exchange rates and oilier forms of export subsidy; which countries employ them, and to what extent they affect British imports and exports.
§ LORD MANCROFT
A number of countries operate arrangements or schemes which in one way or another result in different effective exchange rates at the same time. To appraise the precise extent of the practices which I understand the noble Lord has in mind would involve difficult questions of definition. But full details of countries' exchange systems and practices are published in the Annual Reports or Exchange Restrictions of the International Monetary Fund, and I have arranged for the most recent issue to be placed in the Library. Other forms of export subsidy vary in degree and method and cannot always be clearly identified as such. Certain European countries, however, provide special incentives for their exporters (e.g., by means726WA of the remission of certain direct tax payments on account of export business) which would appear to enable them to offer goods abroad more cheaply than they could offer them at home. These schemes are harmful to our trade but their effect cannot be measured in isolation.