HC Deb 05 August 1943 vol 391 cc2457-8
59. Mr. Ridley

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can give any information regarding the constitution and status of the Council of British Societies for Relief of Enemy-Occupied Territories?

Mr. Harcourt Johnstone (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

The Council of British Societies for Relief Abroad was formed last autumn at the suggestion of His Majesty's Government by the principal voluntary organisations of this country for the purposes of pooling their experience and co-ordinating their efforts in the liberated countries of Europe and elsewhere. The Council consists of 22 British organisations which have international affiliations. Twenty other voluntary organisations are associated with the Council in what is known as the Standing Conference. Both the Council and the Conference are presided over by the same Chairman (Sir William Goode, Government Director of Relief after the last war) and share the same Secretariat. The Council is the officially recognised body through which the plans and activities of British voluntary organisations can be coordinated and the assistance of the member societies made available as and when needed by the appropriate United Kingdom or international authorities, and it is the hope of His Majesty's Government that any voluntary organisations which are qualified to participate in relief work abroad will apply to join the Council or the Conference.

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