HL Deb 25 January 1978 vol 388 c456WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the total overseas defence expenditure in each of the last 10 years paid out in foreign currency and by how much these figures have been swollen in each year by the depreciation of the pound.


Local defence expenditure overseas in the 10 years up to 1976–77 is shown in the left-hand column below. These figures reflect the prices prevailing at the times to which they relate. It is not practicable to assess the effect of the depreciation of the £ sterling, but the variations in the sterling-deutschemark exchange rate, shown in the right-hand column, may be helpful as the bulk of local defence expenditure overseas is now incurred in Germany:

Year £m Average £-DM Market Exchange Rate during the year
1967–68 241 10.36
1968–69 240 9.55
1969–70 247 9.16
1970–71 274 8.78
1971–72 300 8.38
1972–73 307 7.72
1973–74 410 6.29
1974–75 488 5.90
1975–76 587 5.38
1976–77 690 4.29

There are certain other items of overseas expenditure, including equipment and contributions to infrastructure projects, of which the total incidence on the balance of payments cannot be accurately identified.