§ 23. Mr. Chapman
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of total new capital investment has been in the motor car industry in recent years; what percentage it is expected to be in 1956; and what consultations he is having with the industry about its call on these scarce national resources.
§ Sir E. Boyle
The Answer to the first part of the Question is that in the years 1951 to 1955 the percentage of totalgross fixed investment taken by the motor car industry has been as follows:
1951 … … … 1.2 1952 … … … 1.1 1953 … … … 0.9 1954 … … … 1.1 1955 … … … 1.8
(The corresponding figures for net investment are not available.)
No estimates of total investment in 1956 are yet available but, as was announced in the Board of Trade Journal on 4th February, 1956, the motor car industry expected last autumn to spend 30 per cent. more on fixed investment in 1956 than they had done in 1955. Revised estimates by individual manufacturing industries (including the motor industry) of their capital expenditure in 40W 1956 will be published in the Board of Trade Journal shortly.
With regard to the last part of the Question, Her Majesty's Government have regular consultations with the industry at meetings of the National Advisory Council for the Motor Manufacturing Industry. But it has not been the practice of the Government to intervene in the decisions which the industry takes regarding its own expansion.