HC Deb 22 November 1955 vol 546 cc97-8W
75. Sir P. Macdonald

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the bad effect on the country's economic prestige overseas of issuing monthly trade statistics which show an excess of real imports over real exports, he will add to these monthly statements an estimate of our invisible exports over the same period on account of the tourist trade, insurance, shipping, overseas dividends, and other such items.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I regret that this would not be practicable. As my hon. Friend knows, estimates of the balance of payments of the United Kingdom, which cover both visible and invisible items, are published half-yearly. I am glad to have this opportunity of pointing out once more that the excess of imports over total exports, as shown in the Trade Accounts, by no means corresponds either to the overall current balance of payments or even to the balance of visible trade transactions as calculated on the basis used for Balance of Payments Estimates.