§ Mr. Skeet
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the total of British direct and portfolio investment in Canada; what are the industrial categories covered by direct investment; and if he will make a statement on the prospects for further British investment in Canada due to recent legislation in that country.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
The book value of private direct investments in Canada, other than in oil, banking and insurance, was probably close to £800 million at the end of 1971; corresponding information is not available for portfolio investment. The direct investment is widely spread among different industries, with substantial holding in mining, tobacco, chemicals, engineering, paper, rubber and wholesale distribution. I am convinced that a continued high level of United Kingdom investment in Canada will be to the great benefit of both countries, and have expressed to the Canadian Minister for Industry, Trade and Commerce and to other Canadian Ministers my concern that the legislation now under consideration by the Canadian Parliament should not create any impediment to this healthy development, to the disadvantage of Canada as well as the United Kingdom.
§ Sir G. Howe
Canada has no remaining obligations to maintain preferences for British goods. The future of individual preferences and the extent to which these may be eliminated either by reduction in mfn rates or by raising preferential rates are for the Canadians to decide. The Canadian authorities have not indicated how they intend to proceed in this matter. They have given no reason to expect the immediate elimination of all the preferences.