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Private Investment Overseas

Volume 645: debated on Tuesday 25 July 1961

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I now come to private investment overseas. The volume of investment in the non-sterling area, which is subject to control, has been rising steadily. It is true that it produces earnings in the long run. But these earnings do not always benefit the balance of payments in the short term—partly because of the tendency to invest further in the overseas enterprise concerned and partly because of local restrictions on remittances. I therefore propose a more severe test than at present. The test for new investment in the non-sterling area will be that it will produce clear and commensurate benefits to United Kingdom export earnings and to the balance of payments.