§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what steps he is taking designed to arrest the decline in industrial investment.
§ Mr. Heffer
The volume of capital expenditure by manufacturing industry rose by 7 per cent. in 1973 over 1972, and the latest survey by my Department of investment intentions suggests a further increase of 5 per cent. this year. Nevertheless one of the Government's first priorities is to achieve a higher rate442W of investment. This was part of the Chancellor's Budget strategy with its emphasis on steady sustainable growth led by exports. I would also refer to the statement I made about investment incentives in reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda (Mr. Jones) on 29th April.—[Vol. 872, c. 347–8.] The Government's proposals for a National Enterprise Board and planning agreements with the largest companies are, of course, specifically aimed, among other things, at raising the level of investment.