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Under-Developed Countries (Investment)

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd July 1957.

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Photo of Mr Fenner Brockway Mr Fenner Brockway , Eton and Slough 12:00 am, 3rd July 1957

asked the Minister of Labour if he will propose to the International Labour Office, through the representatives of Her Majesty's Government, that a convention be prepared for submission to the Governments concerned laying down uniform taxation of profits on investments in colonial and underdeveloped countries with a view to equalising the opportunities of such territories to obtain the capital they require.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

No, Sir. The International Labour Office is not the appropriate body to adopt international agreements on this matter.

Photo of Mr Fenner Brockway Mr Fenner Brockway , Eton and Slough

While the proposal may be new, why should not the International Labour Office deal with matters of capital as well as conditions of labour? Would it not be greatly to the benefit of Colonial Territories if they did not have competition in capital from different countries, and for Kenya, which has to meet very 'high returns in Northern Rhodesia?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

Whatever the merits of that may be, the needs of the territories vary so much that it is inevitable that the taxes raised should vary, too. I think that a substantial contribution towards the idea which the hon. Gentleman has in mind should be made by Part IV of the Finance Bill now going through the House, which enables people to plough back profits without incurring liability to United Kingdom tax.