Since last July, we have known of decisions by nearly 100 foreign companies to establish or expand in Britain. A further seven foreign companies have been offered assistance under the accelerated projects scheme. Our membership of the EEC will have been a factor weighing with many of these companies.
The number of new projects attracted to the United Kingdom in 1973 totalled 180. In 1974, it was 198 and in 1975, 149. That is creditable, in view of the world recession.
I would have thought that the announcement I have just made would give my hon. Friend some pleasure. Bearing in mind the world-wide recession and the fact that there has been little expansion, I think that we have done very well in the last nine months.
I think we have made that clear in the last two years. We are always anxious to encourage inward investment. It is a considerable factor in providing jobs, especially in the assisted areas. In the latter part of last year, an important group of American business men came over to study the situation here and were impressed with what we were able to do for them.