HC Deb 12 November 1969 vol 791 cc118-20W
Mr. Maurice Macmillan

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he will publish, for those years since and including 1952, when the basic balance was in deficit, figures showing net overseas investment, excluding overseas investment that made no claim on the reserves, as a percentage of the basic deficit;

(2) whether he will publish figures showing the amount of overseas investment that has been made without a call on the reserves for each year since the start of the Government's overseas investment policy operated through exchange control and the voluntary programme;

(3) whether he will publish for those years since and including 1952, when the balance of current and long-term capital transactions was in deficit. figures showing the percentage of the deficit that was due to net overseas private investment.

Mr. Taverne

The main element of investment not involving direct remittance from the United Kingdom is investment out of unremitted profits, but it would be incorrect to regard this as making no claim on the United Kingdom reserves: the failure to contribute to reserves, in cases where insufficient amounts are remitted, is tantamount to an outflow and it is for this reason that the proportions are kept under observation and companies are asked in appropriate cases to improve their remittances. Subject to this, figures are given below for the years 1958 onwards. For the years from 1965, further detail of private investment abroad and its financing is given

Private investments abroad(1)
Balance of current and long term capital transactions ("basic balance") Investment not involving direct remittance from United Kingdom Other components of investment(2)In non sterling area
Total Re invested profits (3) Export and import credit (net) In oversear sterling area Total Net dis investment under the 25 per cent. surrender scheme Invesstment financed through oversear borrowing Re mainder (net)(4)
1958 + 148* -310 -98 .. -128(5) -84(5) -84(5)
1959 -112 -303 -124 92(5) -87(5) -4 -83(5)
1960 -457 -322 -120 -121(5) -81(5) -9 -72(5)
1961 +64* -313 -107 123(5) -83(5) -11 -72(5)
1962 +14* -242 -128 67(5) -47(5) -16 -31(5)
1963 -35 -320 -158 +5 -60 -107 -34 -73
1964 -744 -399 -188 -15 -48 -148 -30 -118
1965 -252 -354 -200 - 36 -58 -60 +35 -91 -4
1966 -48 -304 -215 -5 -36 -48 +73 -40 -81
1967 -417 -457 -238 -17 -103 -99 +56 -126 -29
1968 -407 -736 -340 -20 (-215) (-161) + 97 -198 (- 60)
* Surplus.
.. Not available.

Figures in brackets are precarious estimates based on incomplete information.

(1) Balance of payments signs used throughout: increase in assets (—), decrease (+).

(2) Net of disinvestment.

(3) Including rough estimates for reinvested profits of overseas branches.

(4) Includes certain disinvestment, investment in the form of United Kingdom exports not subsequently paid for, and oil investment in the form of trade credit—further details in Table 23 of the 1969 "Pink Book".

(5) Including small amounts of export and import credit (net).

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he now expects to be able to announce the remaining results of the general review on the presentation of the balance of payments.

Mr. Taverne

The Pink Book on the United Kingdom balance of payments, published in September, contains a number of improvements resulting from this review. It included new analyses of investment and financing.

Developments in international capital markets make further progress on these lines desirable. This is a difficult field, but I hope that it will be possible to publish further material in a few months' time.

in Table 23 of the 1969 balance of payments "Pink Book".

For years prior to 1958 separate figures of the reinvested profits of overseas subsidiaries are not available; figures of total private investment abroad in the years 1952 to 1957 are given in Table 4 of the 1969 "Pink Book". Since the basic balance "is the net result of a number of surpluses and deficits for individual components of the account, it is hardly meaningful to express one component as a percentage of the net total.

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