HC Deb 03 November 1947 vol 443 cc1314-5
7. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the position respecting the British contribution to the Children's Emergency Fund of the United Nations; and whether our contribution is financial or in kind.

Mr. Mayhew

His Majesty's Government regret that in present economic conditions they cannot make a contribution to the International Children's Emergency Fund either in money or in kind. It is hoped, however, that the Children's Fund will benefit from voluntary contributions raised in this country under the United Nations Appeal for Children which His Majesty's Government have agreed to facilitate.

Mr. Sorensen

Is it not correct that a promise was made that contributions would be made to this fund, and in that case, is not the fund likely to be embarrassed if promises are not honoured?

Mr. Mayhew

No, Sir. I do not think we are going back on former promises. I should emphasise that it is the Government's contribution that is at stake and not the voluntary ones.

Mr. Lipson

If it is possible for private individuals to send money to this fund, why is it not possible for the British Government to do so?

Mr. Mayhew

There is a limited supply of goods and services which can be supplied overseas. It is better for this to be covered by voluntary contributions than by Government contributions.