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Overseas Borrowing

Volume 960: debated on Friday 15 December 1978

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for each year since 1945 (a) the total amount of borrowing from overseas by the Government and (b) the total amount of borrowing from overseas by the Government per capita.

I assume the hon. Member is interested in the total overseas borrowing, net of repayments, by Her Majesty's Government including both foreign currency and sterling borrowing. Estimates of foreign currency borrowing are available for each year from 1946; estimates of sterling borrowing, which comprises mainly overseas residents' holdings of British Government stocks and Treasury bills, are not available prior to 1963.

Foreign currency borrowing (net)

*

Total overseas borrowing (net)

*

Calendar year

£ million

£ per capita

£ million

£ per capita

1970—1,394—25·1—1,367—24·6
1971—1,074—19·3—602—10·8
1972—621—11·1—268—4·8
1973—91—1·6—298—5·3
1974+560—10·0+1,615+28·8
1975+340+6·1—130—2·3
1976+963+17·2+477+8·5
1977+2,311+41·3+3,275+58·6
1978 (January to September)—346—6·2—311—5·6

* Minus sign indicates that repayments exceeded new borrowing in that year.

† Comprises long, medium and short term borrowing by H.M. Government (including bonds Issued in 1977 and borrowing under Eurodollar facilities. As far as possible figures are converted to sterling at the rate of exchange at the time of the transaction.
† Includes, in addition to foreign currency borrowing, changes in overseas holdings of British Government stocks and Treasury bills.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing (a) in 1974 and (b) at the latest available date (i) the total amount of outstanding foreign currency borrowing and (ii) the total amount of outstanding foreign currency borrowing by type of borrower.

The information requested is as follows:

End-February 1974$ billion End-November 1978
HMG4·511·2
Nationalised industries2·99·5
Local authorities,0·61·2
Other0·01·2
Total8·023·1