HC Deb 17 October 1945 vol 414 cc1146-7
24. Squadron-Leader Sir Gilford Fox

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that U.N.R.R.A. is being run as economically as possible; why U.N.R.R.A. has different registries in London doing the same job; why American citizens are paid $1,000 a year more than the salary offered to English people; and what the total cost to this country of U.N.R.R.A. will be for the next six months.

The Minister of State (Mr. Philip Noel-Baker)

His Majesty's Government have endeavoured to make available to U.N.R.R.A. competent British members for its staff; they maintain a vigilant watch on the expenditure of the administration in the Committee on Financial Control; they helped at the recent Session of the U.N.R.R.A. Council to secure new machinery for the close and continuous review of supply programmes and of expenditure in the receiving countries. I understand that in the London office of U.N.R.R.A. there is one central registry, but, as the office is scattered over six buildings, several sub-registries are also required. U.N.R.R.A. had to recruit an international staff, and had to offer salaries that would attract competent people. Allowance had also to be made for the higher scales of salaries and the cost of living prevailing in the United States. The administrative costs of U.N.R.R.A. for the next six months will be approximately £350,000, of which the United Kingdom share is 15 per cent. I regret that I cannot now estimate the cost of relief supplies which will be furnished by the United Kingdom during that period of time.

Sir G. Fox

Can the Minister assure the House that further assistance will not be given to U.N.R.R.A. which will necessitate further cutting the food supplies of this country?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I think that I can give that assurance without any qualification, but I hope that my hon. Friend will understand that the work of U.N.R.R.A. is for this country really enlightened self-interest. The sooner it puts the countries of Europe on their feet, the sooner we shall have a market for British exports.