Mr Jack Diamond: I am.
Mr Jack Diamond: If I might give the House the facts: I am entitled to do this, because this can only be done legally as the result of the Statutory Instruments introduced during our time.
Mr Jack Diamond: To help the House to get this clear I should say that there was no objection to taking the currency abroad. What one could not do was to exchange it abroad for foreign currency.
Mr Jack Diamond: Is the hon. Gentleman making a case that all the evasion would not take place at a higher limit?
Mr Jack Diamond: What about Spain?
Mr Jack Diamond: With the leave of the House, I should like to reply to the debate. I will come to the comment of the hon. Member for Wanstead and Woodford (Mr. Patrick Jenkin) about removing this restriction a little later. I should like first to answer the questions put to me. The first was about the business allowance, and came from the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Bessell). Twenty pounds a day, as he will...
Mr Jack Diamond: There is certainly no intention in the foreseeable future of denying to the Government the safeguard which comes from control of capital movement. The Motion has nothing to do with that. It criticises us for not increasing the allowance. The hon. Member for Bodmin brought out that point, and another hon. Member made it clear that, although he was supporting the Motion for a limited reason, he...
Mr Jack Diamond: My right hon. Friend has had no discussions on this topic.
Mr Jack Diamond: My hon. Friend has not expressed the Chancellor's position fully or correctly. My right hon. Friend's position is that he would be content to see a reduction in this role in the long term, provided that two conditions were satisfied: first, that the interests of sterling holders were fully protected, and second, that the needs of world liquidity were protected.
Mr Jack Diamond: My right hon. Friend's reply of 22nd October to my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythen-shawe (Mr. Alfred Morris), the standard conditions of Government contracts have been amended to require contractors to conform to the provisions of the Race Relations Act, 1968, relating to discrimination in employment.—[Vol. 783, c. 296–7.]
Mr Jack Diamond: That would depend on the rates and coverage of the tax.
Mr Jack Diamond: In case I have not already pointed this out to the hon. Gentleman, I apologise for not having done so, and I take this opportunity to refer him to what my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said when he dealt with this matter absolutely fully.
Mr Jack Diamond: No, Sir. I am always anxious to be as helpful to the House as I can, but my hon. Friend will appreciate that he might just as well ask me what would be produced by an income tax, a selective employment tax or any other tax he cared to name. It depends entirely on the rates and the coverage, as I have indicated.
Mr Jack Diamond: This information is not available.
Mr Jack Diamond: It is important, but the hon. Gentleman does not fully understand the method by which pay-as-you-earn taxation is operated. The refunds to which he refers are mostly made by employers in the ordinary course of events, and it is impossible for the Government, unless they obtain a return from every employer of every reason for each repayment of tax, to give the information for which he asks.
Mr Jack Diamond: Yes, with pleasure. The right hon. Gentleman is not accurate in what he says. In the ordinary course of pay-as-you-earn, there is no distinction made in the rate of repayment by the employer whether the employee's entitlement to repayment arises because he is on strike, because his wife has had a baby, because he has got married, or whatever the reason may be.
Mr Jack Diamond: I agree, and that matter is not even in question.
Mr Jack Diamond: To 1st November nationalised industries have borrowed about £88 million abroad and one local authority about £5 million. Some £64 million is in Deutsche marks.
Mr Jack Diamond: The total additional cost has already been given in an answer, but I can repeat that the additional cost to the public sector is broadly equal to the additional benefit accruing from the reduction in the rate of interest.
Mr Jack Diamond: I have already explained that the two items are broadly in balance. The net result, therefore, is that we have replaced short-term borrowing with long-term borrowing of the same amount, and that surely is advantageous.