HC Deb 03 February 1947 vol 432 cc1369-70
13. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has yet drawn up a programme of relief to needy countries in accordance with Clause 5 of the General Assembly resolution of nth December, 1946, concerning post-U.N.R.R.A. aid to countries needing financial assistance to provide for imports of food and other basic essentials of life.

Mr. Mayhew

We must first consider the findings of the Special Technical Committee which was set up by the same General Assembly Resolution. The Committee's report is now ready, and its full details should reach us shortly. My hon. Friend will, however, be aware that we have, in advance of the report, already made available a substantial measure of post-U.N.R.R.A. assistance to Austria in view of the particularly urgent and established need in that country. But I should be misleading the House if I did not make it clear that we have not got sufficient resources to undertake large-scale financial assistance to needy countries.

Mr. Warbey

Will my hon. Friend give an undertaking that. whatever financial resources are available for relief to other countries will be distributed as widely as possible, and not restricted to one or two countries?

Mr. Mayhew

We must, I think, await' the report of the Technical Committee.

Mr. Osborne

Is it not still true that charity begins at home and that there are plenty of needy people in this country, and that if the Government would provide coal and food for them, it would be much better than looking after foreign countries?

Mr. Mayhew

The Government's policy is well known, and we want to do the best we can for the needy countries.

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