12. Miss Ward
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the need for supplies to reach Yugoslavia and France and the disinclination of liberated countries to avail themselves of the services of U.N.R.R.A., he will discuss with the U.S.A. the desirability of offering the accumulated supplies direct to the Governments concerned without the U.N.R.R.A. organisation.
§ Mr. Eden
There is no question of U.N.R.R.A. withholding supplies from France. Nor would I agree that the liberated countries are disinclined to avail themselves of the services of U.N.R.R.A., except in so far as those which are in a position to pay with foreign exchange for their relief supplies naturally prefer to do so. As regards France, supplies have been accumulated by the Allied military authorities and by the French Provisional Government itself. Such immediate problems as exist relate less to the provision of further supplies than to the transportation of the full amount of supplies already available or potentially available, especially in view of the heavy demands on transport facilities for military needs at the front. As regards Yugoslavia, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I should have given earlier to-day to my hon. Friend the Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Riley).
Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that the first half of his answer does not, in fact, apply to Yugoslavia?
§ Mr. Eden
I am sorry, the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Riley), who has a Question on the Paper on this subject—[8. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether an agreement has yet been reached between U.N.R.R.A. and Marshal Tito regarding the distribution of food, clothing and other necessities, to the civil population in Yugoslavia.]—is not here, and I did not have the chance to read the answer. Approximately, the position is that discussions on the matter are going on, and we hope that agreement will be reached shortly.
§ Mr. Petherick
Could the right hon. Gentleman make some statement in the rather near future about U.N.R.R.A. and Yugoslavia, because there is a relief organisation which is asking for money for relief to Yugoslavia, and the implication is that U.N.R.R.A. is no good and is doing no work there?
§ Mr. Eden
As I say, I regret that my hon. Friend the Member for Dewsbury, who had a Question down, is not here, so that I could not give some more information. Perhaps I could read the answer to that Question. It is:
Arrangements are at present being discussed between the Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean and the Yugoslav authorities for the despatch of relief supplies prepared by the allied military authorities. These arrangements contemplate the early transfer to U.N.R.R.A. of the responsibility for providing relief, in accordance with the common wish of all concerned.
§ Mr. G. Strauss
May I ask whether any difficulties have arisen, as has been suggested, with the authorities in Yugoslavia, and, if so, what they are?