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British Investments (Canada)

Volume 524: debated on Tuesday 9 March 1954

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to state, correct to the nearest £1 million, the amount of British investments in Canada during 1953 and comparative figures for 1951 and 1948; and what steps he is taking to stimulate further the subscription of British capital to new Canadian enterprise and development.

Figures of the actual amounts invested are not available. The amounts authorised were £38 million in 1953 and £23 million in 1951; we have not figures for 1948. I shall continue to do my best to provide dollars for such investment.

Do not the figures show a 60 per cent, increase in Canadian investment since 1951, reflecting the growing economic strength of this country, and will my right hon. Friend do all in his power urgently to stimulate further United Kingdom investment in Canada in view of the enormous capital demand for industrial and mining development?

Of course, it is a matter of the utmost importance to our strength overseas that we should invest in Canada, and I have been very glad to note the increase.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent British investors will be permitted to participate financially in the Canadian project for the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes waterways project; and what steps he is taking to stimulate this valuable form of Canadian dollar investment.

I am anxious to facilitate direct U.K. participation in the construction of this project and have already approved a number of applications. I could not, however, allow British investors to subscribe to the capital since this would be portfolio investment which we cannot afford at present.

Does my right hon. Friend's reply mean that investments that have taken place so far are Government investments from the United Kingdom and institutional investments are at all events precluded today?

I think the answer says what it means, namely, that I could not allow British investors to take up ordinary portfolio investment, but a certain number of applications of a more general type have been allowed.

Can the Chancellor say if such investments, which apparently would be on behalf of the Government, would be in addition to any investment made by the United States Government or in place of it if they did not come in?