HC Deb 02 December 1953 vol 521 cc1130-1
3. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will instruct the United Kingdom delegate at the United Nations to support the plan for the establishment and operation of a special fund for grants-in-aid and low interest long-term loans to underdeveloped countries for their economic development.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The plan for a special fund has been debated in the Economic Committee of the General Assembly. Two resolutions, for which the United Kingdom delegate voted, were adopted without opposition. I am arranging to place copies of these resolutions in the Library of the House.

Mr. Henderson

Can the House take it that, in the view of the Government, the urgency of this vital problem of the development of under-developed areas is not to be determined by the date of the signature of a future world disarmament agreement; and can we take it that in the meantime the Government will give all moral and material support to the establishment of this special fund as asked for by the resolution of the Second Committee, passed on 25th November?

Mr. Lloyd

Her Majesty's Government certainly emphatically support investment in and development of underdeveloped countries. So far as this fund is concerned, our position is set out in the resolution for which we voted. There are certain technical considerations to be taken into account, and we have to be certain in regard to a fund of this sort that it will serve the purpose for which it is intended.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can we take it that the Government accept the principle that there must be a grant-in-aid for schemes which are not self-supporting, and do not give a monetary return, in order that the subsequent development scheme may be carried out?

Mr. Lloyd

Her Majesty's Government certainly accept that as a general principle, but what I think are still required are technical studies as to whether this fund will serve the purpose for which it is intended.