Finance Minister (Talks)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ceylon – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st December 1964.

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Photo of Mr John Tilney Mr John Tilney , Liverpool Wavertree 12:00 am, 1st December 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether, in his talks with the Ceylon Government's Finance Minister, he discussed the future of the tea industry and the large British investment in Ceylon.

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Middlesbrough East

I made it clear to Dr. Perera that, if they were given the chance, British enterprise and investment could continue to make an important contribution to the economy of Ceylon, including the important export-earning tea industry.

Photo of Mr John Tilney Mr John Tilney , Liverpool Wavertree

Will the right hon. Gentleman point out to the Government of Ceylon that the high taxation, particularly the new wealth tax which is retrospective, is having a bad effect on the maintenance of tea gardens and will be likely to affect the export of tea in future?

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Middlesbrough East

This matter was discussed in my talks with the Finance Minister.

Photo of Mr John Tilney Mr John Tilney , Liverpool Wavertree

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether, in his talks with the Ceylon Government's Finance Minister, he discussed the unfavourable balance of trade which Great Britain has with Ceylon.

Photo of Mr John Tilney Mr John Tilney , Liverpool Wavertree

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the balance of trade between this country and Ceylon is greatly in favour of Ceylon and that there are many widows of those who helped to build up the economy of Ceylon who are entirely dependent on dividends they receive from Ceylon?

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Middlesbrough East

The fact that Ceylon's trade with Britain is in her favour makes all the more regrettable the measures recently taken by the Ceylon Government to restrict invisible payments, so large a part of which normally come to Britain.

Photo of Mr Stratton Mills Mr Stratton Mills , Belfast North

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Ceylon Government have put pressure on tea companies not to pay dividends out of funds which have accrued and are at present in London?

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Middlesbrough East

That again was a matter we discussed when I met the Finance Minister.