HC Deb 18 December 1947 vol 445 cc1862-3
47. Sir Ralph Glyn

asked the Prime Minister whether he is now in a position to make statement in regard to the South Africa Aid to Britain Fund.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. The House will recall that on 18th October, 1946, I received from Field-Marshal Smuts a gold certificate in the sum of £985,000 from the people of the Union of South Africa and the people of Basutoland, the Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland, and a draft for £196,625 from the people of Durban and the Province of Natal. To both these gifts further sums have since been added. Field Marshal Smuts laid upon me the responsibility of distributing this gift, and I decided that a Committee of Members of Parliament drawn from all Parties should be set up to advise me. As the House will remember I asked you, Mr. Speaker, to act as Chairman of this Committee, though not in your official capacity.

I have today laid in the Library of the House copies of the report of the Committee with other relevant documents. The Report, as hon. Members will see, broadly recommends that one half of the money should be dedicated to the benefit of the young, one-fifth to the benefit of the old, and the remainder to the benefit of others who have a particular claim to our gratitude or compassion. I am in entire agreement with the conclusions of the Committee, to which, and in particular to you, Mr. Speaker, its Chairman, I should like to express my thanks for accepting and carrying out this task. To the givers of this gift we are profoundly grateful. Their names will in one way or another be linked with the schemes which we have in mind and those who in the days to come reap the fruits of their generosity will not forget them.