§ 17. Mr. Ridsdale
asked the Minister of Technology what was the average level of investment over the last five years in the manufacturing and construction industries at current market prices and as a percentage of the gross national product for Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom and how this compares with
|Fixed capital expenditure by manufacturing and construction industries||Government expenditure*|
|Amount||As proportion of gross national product at current factor cost||Amount||As proportion of gross national product at current factor cost|
|Per cent.||Per cent.|
|Germany (Average 1963–67)||…||29.00†||7.6||156.89†||41.0|
|Japan (Average 1962–66)||…||2,417‡§||9.5||5,746‡||22.5|
|United Kinadom (Average 1963–67)||…||1,462║||4.7||11,718||||37.5|
|*Government expenditure has been taken as the total of central government and local authorities spending on current account and on capital formation, excluding trading enterprises. For Japan government expenditure excludes capital formation in stocks but includes fixed capital formation in dwellings.|
|†Thousand million deutschmarks.|
|‡Thousand million yen.|
|§Investment figures for Japan are available only for financial years beginning 1st April.|
§ Source: Returns made to O.E.C.D. by member countries which are summarised in "National Accounts of O.E.C.D. Countries, 1958–1967" published in 1969.804
§ the average level of Government expenditure in each of these countries, from information available to him from international sources.
Mr. Alan Williams
With permission, I will circulate the available information in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The figures do not suggest that a high level of manufacturing investment is associated with a low level of Government expenditure.
§ Mr. Ridsdale
Is not the level of Government expenditure in Japan exactly half and the level of manufacturing investment exactly double what it is in this country? Does the Minister still say that there is no relationship between these two factors?
In the five years for which figures are available, for Germany both sets of figures have been higher, so it is difficult to establish any causal relationship between the figures.
§ Mr. Ridley
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the prognostications of the Government that investment will rise this year have been directly contradicted by the C.B.I., which fears a further fall? Has he checked his figures again to see who is right?
Has the hon. Gentleman checked his reading to ensure that he is right? As I understand it, the dispute is not about whether or not there will be a fall—I do not think that anyone is suggesting a fall—but about how large the rise will be. The C.B.I. confirms that there will continue to be an increase, and I should have thought that both sides of the House would welcome this in the national interest.
§ Following is the available information: