§ 25. Mr. Cronin
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will extend the present category of exceptions to the suspension of investment allowances so as to include the steel, shipbuilding, heavy electrical industries and such other manufacturing industries for which greater capital expenditure is now essential.
§ Mr. Cronin
In taking steps to increase capital expenditure, will the Minister accept the principle of selectivity?
Mr. H. Wilson
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, as a result of Treasury policy, 596 capital investment in this country is now falling compared with that of our principal trading rivals? Is he further aware that the previous Economic Secretary, on being asked whether the Government wanted investment to go up or down, would not answer, but in the end said he wanted it to be selective. Does not this Question provide the means by which the Treasury could encourage selective increases in essential investment?
§ Mr. Powell
I heard the previous Economic Secretary's reply to the right hon. Gentleman and thought it very effective.
On a point of order. The statement referred to was not a reply to me but was a reply to a debate—in which I did not take part—in the House of Commons on the Thursday before the Christmas Recess. Would the hon. Gentleman now look up the actual terms of the statement?