§ Mr. Hoyle
asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) if he will make it his policy to require of every overseas company setting up manufacturing or assembly operations in the United Kingdom a level of United Kingdom value added content not less than 50 per cent.;
(2) whether it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to seek from overseas companies establishing assembly or manufacturing plants in the United Kingdom any undertaking as to United Kingdom value added content; what levels of United Kingdom value added content have been achieved in cases where undertakings have been sought; and whether he will seek to ensure that any agreed level of United Kingdom value added content is net.
§ Mr. MacGregor
[pursuant to his reply, 1 February 1982, c. 28]: To discriminate against overseas companies in the ways suggested would be contrary to international obligations and, in the long term, against the best interests of the United Kingdom economy. In assessing applications whether from foreign or United Kingdom-owned firms, for Government selective financial assistance, careful consideration is given to all the implications of each project for the United Kingdom economy, including the company's intentions regarding purchase of components, capital expenditure, export potential, and possible impact on existing firms. Each case must be considered on its merits and it would be neither appropriate nor practical to lay down the sort of rigid requirement proposed.