HL Deb 08 October 1968 vol 296 cc1125-6WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will publish a list of all the steps and measures taken since November 7, 1964, to reduce the outflow, and increase the inflow, of overseas currencies and their monetary equivalents.


It has been a principal aim of all Government policies since 1964 to assist in the building of a strong economy, in which a continuing surplus in the balance of payments can be combined with full employment and a satisfactory growth of output.

Direct action by the Government, affecting the balance of payments, has included:

The introduction in 1964 of the temporary charge on imports; this was subsequently reduced and finally withdrawn in 1966.

The introduction in 1964 of the export rebate, which was withdrawn as from 1968; and many more general measures to help exporters, including the progressive widening of the scope of E.C.G.D's facilities.

The corporation tax system introduced in the Finance Act 1965, which had as one of its objects correction of a bias in the previous fiscal arrangements in favour of overseas investments, and which by virtue of the relatively low rate of corporation tax gives an incentive to inward investment.

The tightening in 1965 of exchange control restrictions on direct investment in the Non-Sterling Area, and the introduction of the 25 per cent. scheme to channel part of the foreign currency proceeds of sale of foreign securities into the official reserves.

The introduction in 1966 of the Voluntary Programme governing investment in the developed countries of the Overseas Sterling Area.

The reduction in 1966 of the Travel Allowance for United Kingdom residents visiting the Non-Sterling Area.

Tax change in the 1968 Finance Act to facilitate borrowing in foreign currencies by United Kingdom companies.

Successive reductions in programmes of Government Overseas Expenditure

I must however emphasise to the noble Lord that direct action of this kind has played a relatively small part only in the Government's overall programme to reshape the economy and restore the balance of payments.