§ 5.56 p.m.
§ The Minister of State (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)
There are just a few words I should like to say to the Committee on this Supplementary Estimate. The savings, it will be observed, are £1,660,000, and it would not be proper for me to deal with them. There is a short-fall in receipts of £1,343,000. That is simply due to the fact that certain moneys which were expected to be received before the end of this year in respect of currency in Libya will not be received before the end of this year, but will, in fact, be received next year.
Of the excess in expenditure, amounting to over £4 million, the largest item relates to Yugoslavia. That is not an over-spending, because there was a token estimate of £10 in June and it was foreseen that there would be a Supplementary Estimate to deal with this matter. Of the £2,800,000, about £600,000 represents money that was not spent last year out of Estimates then approved, so to that extent it is a re-vote. The balance of £2¼ million is half the amount decided upon by Her Majesty's Government last October to be given by way of economic assistance to Yugoslavia.
The Committee is aware that there was a tripartite conference at which the United States, France and ourselves were present, and it was decided that over the 12 months ending June, 1953, assistance to Yugoslavia should be given to the following amounts: United States of America, 78 million dollars; United Kingdom, £4½ million; France, the equivalent of £3 million. The figure of £2¼ million in these Supplementary Estimates represents half that figure of £4½ million. Those moneys are to be spent in giving economic help to Yugoslavia, which, in 83 the view of Her Majesty's Government, it is very necessary to give at the present time.
The next item in size relates to the loan to Jordan. This, again, is for money which was voted for 1951–52, but not spent in that year. It also is a re-vote. It is part of the £1,500,000 loan for development in Jordan which is to be repaid over 15 years, starting in 1959. Those moneys will be spent in connection with a railway project, an airport, irrigation and development projects. None of it will be spent in connection with the refugees now in Jordan. It is for normal development projects.
The next item is £400,000 for reimbursement of Purchase Tax. That is the reimbursement of Purchase Tax on goods bought in the United Kingdom by nationals of other countries. Since 1949, I think it is, this has been the practice, and it does constitute good business for this country. There have been more sales than expected of British goods to these foreign nationals in the United Kingdom, and that is why the amount to be reimbursed by way of Purchase Tax has been increased.
The only other item on which I want to say anything is that of £213,000 for Libyan currency. This, again, is a re-vote. It is money which was provided last year to buy in the currency in circulation, and of the £750,000 voted last year this sum of £213,000 was not expended in that year. It has been spent in this year and has to be re-voted. It does not amount to an unexpected item of expenditure. That is all that I wish to say at this stage with regard to the Supplementary Estimate.
§ 6.0 p.m.
Mr. Hector McNeil (Greenock)
I do not propose to detain the House for long. I am sure that I am speaking for both sides of the House when I say that we very much appreciate the need for this item relating to Yugoslavia. Those of us who have had any experience of that country will be fairly confident that this sum will be prudently applied. Quite remarkable, in the years immediately following the war, is the degree of improvement that Yugoslavia has demonstrated, and anyone associated with U.N.R.R.A. will remember how beneficially she 84 applied the funds allocated under that scheme. The political climate does not permit her to apply more of her own finances to economic development at this time.
I would like to say just a word about item D—Financial Assistance to Jordan (Grant-in-Aid). The right hon. and learned Gentleman explained that there were three schemes, and he added that these, of course, were not concerned with the refugee problem. I quite understand that, but perhaps he will permit me to put to him three points very briefly.
We know that the two great burdens which Jordan has at present to carry arise from defence and from the problem of refugees. I do not propose to discuss these matters at length, because I am sure that the House will have to devote a large part of its time in the near future to debating Middle East defence and the question of refugees. I understand that there is anxiety on both sides of the House that time should be found to debate these subjects, and I hope that the Government will be able to afford that facility.
Although it may be literally true that none of these three schemes relate directly to the problem of refugees, it would be financially imprudent to consider any funds to be applied to economic development in the Kindom of Jordan unless related to the refugee problem. I am sure that most Members of the Committee will be familiar with the size of this problem. It is probably true that there are about 500,000 Arab refugees in a country the population of which was previously about 1½ million. Anyone attempting to consider the economic problems of that country or the application of funds for its economic development could not think of the subject at all without putting a huge question mark against this problem of 500,000 refugees.
I would not want anything that I have said to be interpreted as meaning that the United Nations in its various projects, Her Majesty's Government or the Jordan Government have been ungenerous in their handling of this problem. Indeed, it ought to be said in fairness that if all the countries had been as generous as Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the Kingdom of Jordan the position might have been advanced a good deal.
85 With the best will in the world, everyone must admit that the ambulance service providing relief work will make no real contribution to this economic drain upon Jordan, constituted by the presence of these refugees. Compassion and the complexity of the situation always drive people towards relief of that kind. There is inevitably the inertia of the refugees themselves. They do not want to be dispossessed and there is a kind of unity in their misery. There is a reluctance to forfeit such political claims as they think they may have and that, of course, is true in the Jordan Valley.
I want the right hon. Gentleman to tell us whether, in the continuance of this economic assistance, Her Majesty's Government have discussed with the Government of Jordan what methods should be used to ensure that some proportion of these refugees is related to the eventual development. I do not mean only their partial employment, although that may be desirable. But can he tell us if the Government of Jordan anticipate that they will be able to resettle or, more properly, to integrate them into the subsequent employment that should arise from at least two of these schemes?
Will he tell us firmly, in the same context, whether the five-year plan, upon which a brief announcement was made by his hon. Friend the Under-Secretary on 9th March, moves in continuation of this programme. It is a fairly optimistic anticipation that in five years' time the Government of Jordan will be able to produce a balanced budget. It is a very optimistic conclusion, in view of these two problems to which I have alluded, that they should have a balanced budget in that time. I should, no doubt, be out of order if I pursued that matter, and I do not want to pursue it, but I want, if possible, the right hon. and learned Gentleman to assure us that these two programmes are linked and that some provision is being made—not a hope, but some systematic attempt—to absorb, integrate and resettle refugees inside that development.
Finally, I would ask him whether, inside this programme for which we are at present devoting an additional £450,000, and inside the continuance of this programme, which I would loosely call the five-year programme, once more the resources of the United Nations are being 86 utilised both in response to construction and in respect of the problem of the refugees.
In all countries there is a great claim upon expert opinion—engineering, agricultural, hydrostatic, and so forth—but the United Nations have been slowly coordinating a substantial reservoir of experienced technicians, and this money will not be as prudently and wisely applied as it might be if we do not ensure that these resources are being used and allied to these programmes. With these reservations, that we should ensure that these and subsequent funds are prudently employed in development in the Kingdom of Jordan and that the money is related to the massive problem of the refugees, we support this Supplementary Estimate.
§ 6.11 p.m.
§ Mr. R. H. S. Crossman (Coventry, East)
I am grateful to have the opportunity to follow up one or two of the questions which my right hon. Friend the Member for Greenock (Mr. McNeil) was raising about Jordan on this item of £450,000. It is an item which we ought to discuss in some detail, for this reason. In the whole of the Arab Middle East, Jordan is the only area—and it is quite a small area—where we can even pretend that there is a population friendly to this country. There is no other part of the Arab world where one can feel that the country is pro-British. Therefore, whether it is possible to keep our foothold there is a matter of major importance.
I should like to tell the Minister that I was very struck, when I was there this winter, by the contrast between the situation in Jordan in 1953 and the situation two years ago. I think he will agree that the situation is far worse today than it was two years ago, and it was far worse two years ago than it was two years before that. We have had a steady deterioration in the economic and social situation in Jordan and in the chances of pacification.
We are discussing this loan in the knowledge that despite what we have done in the past, the situation is getting steadily worse. We are not dealing directly with the question of refugees today, because the financing of the refugees is a matter for U.N.R.R.A., but I must point out 87 that the effect of having in the country 470,000 refugees on the ration strength of U.N.R.R.A. and another 130,000 who have been "integrated," into the community has been a steady decline in wage rates. One of the things I discovered was the utterly deplorable effect on the economy of Jordan of the burden of the refugees.
§ The Temporary Chairman(Colonel Gomme-Duncan)
I must ask the hon. Member to keep to the question of the £450,000. The right hon. Member for Greenock (Mr. McNeil) went a little wide himself, but I let him go on. We cannot discuss the question of refugees. It is in order for the hon. Member to say how the loan should be related to the problem, but we cannot discuss the problem itself.
§ Mr. Crossman
With respect, I was discussing the problem of refugees but I was trying to show how the presence of refugees made the case for development more urgent. It is vital to understand how the development of Jordan has been ruined and retarded by the pressure of the refugees.
§ The Temporary Chairman
The hon. Gentleman may do that, but he cannot discuss the question of refugees further.
§ Mr. Crossman
I do not want to discuss the question of refugees. I want to discuss the situation of the non-refugee population. I think it would be in order to discuss the economic situation of the non-refugee population whose wage rates have been driven down. I have discovered that wage rates in Jordan this year are much lower than they were two years ago. The reason is the vast amount of refugee labour available which is subsidised by exterior funds, and which, therefore, depresses wage rates of those who are not refugees. I did not find anybody there this year who did not agree that the situation was markedly worse. If one talks to the British, the Arabs and the technical aid people there, they all agree that, despite the millions which are being poured in, there is a steady deterioration.
I should like to concentrate on the situation west of the Jordan, because that is where the British Development Loan is mainly concentrated, on the agricultural side. That is where the £450,000 88 is to be spent, I gather. West of the Jordan there is what was left of Palestine jammed in between Israel and the rest. It is, today, a pool of despair. Here we have a group of Arabs—largely Christian Arabs—who are now in a Moslem State, and who were in a favoured position under the British because they were mostly civil servants under the Mandate.
It is in this area west of the Jordan that the most violent hatred of Israel is to be found. It is here where all the incidents that we hear of occur. Despite all the economic development that we hear of, the only development that I found was the development of the National Guard, consisting of people with rifles who cross the frontier, get what they can in the way of cattle and visit their people in Gaza. We want to know what the Minister thinks should be done for the miserable people who are packed in that area. I suggest that we must reach the conclusion that peace is out of the question in Jordan unless we can get economic development on a far greater scale than anything implied in this loan or in the four-year plan.
I was glad to hear my right hon. Friend point out that we ought not to talk too much about resettlement. Resettlement is a matter for U.N.R.R.A. We are concerned here with economic development. One of the things I discovered in Jordan was that if one talks about resettling the Arabs it makes resettlement impossible. I visited, in the Jordan Valley, a village which had been built by the Jordan Government with U.N.R.R.A money for resettling refugees. It was three-quarters empty because it was meant for resettling refugees, whereas if it had been built for the development of the country and no one had talked a great deal about resettlement, the people might have gone there.
Therefore, I am glad that Her Majesty's Government have decided to go ahead with the economic development of the country without attaching to it the notion of resettling refugees. The very word "resettlement" creates a psychological phobia which makes the very thing we want impossible to achieve It is extremely important that we should be aware of the vital importance not only to this country but to our whole position in the Middle East of maintaining that 89 economic development in Jordan. There is there a population of something over 1 million people, half of them refugees. They are in a country with no natural resources, so far as I can see.
I ask the Minister why it is that in the course of our redevelopment we have left the Palestine potash plant at the north end of the Dead Sea in a state of total destruction. Is there to be no effort to restore the potash trade? The Jews are busily restoring it at Sodom at the south end, but I should like to know what is being done at the north end where the plant is in Arab hands, because potash is one of the few things with which Jordan could hope to earn a living.
I want to ask a question about tourism. I spoke to the British Ambassador and was told that tourism was a matter for U.N.R.R.A. and technical assistance because we were concerned only with the economic development of the country. This puzzled me a great deal because of all the resources that Jordan has, natural beauty and ancient buildings are the main ones. In fact, one way in which the country could earn foreign exchange would be by developing the tourist trade. There are not only the old City of Jerusalem, but the Roman towns of Jerash and Petra; there are many things and much natural beauty for tourists to see if they could get there to see them.
I should like to ask the Minister to consider devoting more of the British money that we are sending to Jordan to develop the tourist industry there. I gather that the railway to which the Minister of State referred is of military importance, but I do not think that anyone who called at Aquaba would want to go back as a tourist because of the temperature; but in the uplands it is different, and if there were reasonable roads and hotel accommodation it would vastly increase the tourist traffic to that area. It seems to be a pity to leave out tourism and say that it is not part of the economic development of the country.
But the basic economic development must be the expansion of the cultivable area. If this country is to earn its own living it must grow more food, and that food can only be grown under the most difficult conditions. I want to ask a question about the Yarmuk river scheme.
§ The Temporary Chairman
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but we are dealing with a sum of £450,000 and we must, as far as possible, stick to what is to be done with that money, because that is the only Estimate that we are considering.
§ Mr. Crossman
With great respect, we were told by the Minister that this money is being devoted to the economic development of Jordan, and I am asking the Minister questions about whether he is using the fund for this purpose or for that. Surely questions about irrigation are in order because part of the money could be used for the Yarmuk river scheme, which is a plan for increasing the irrigated area.
§ The Temporary Chairman
I am well aware of that, but the point is that we are dealing with only £450,000. It is quite in order to touch upon the future prospects, but it is not in order to deal at length with the subject because it would cost more than the £450,000 under consideration.
With great respect, particularly since I have had the indulgence of the Chair, might I say that we have no control over how these funds may be applied by Jordan. We shall have no further opportunity of discovering in detail how the funds are applied, and I would respectfully suggest it would be quite in order for my hon. Friend now to pursue what is, at any rate, a germane matter.
§ The Temporary Chairman
I have already given the hon. Gentleman full licence, as I did the right hon. Gentleman, but I must insist that he does not go into great projects which obviously will cost a great deal more, although he may touch on them as to the future policy, which he has already done.
§ Mr. Crossman
I hardly got the opportunity of touching upon the subject before I was told I was out of order. I will deal with the road leading towards the Yarmuk to build which part of this money was spent. I should like to know whether beyond the building of the road it is proposed to devote funds to the Yarmuk scheme, because that scheme will provide 120,000 people with farms if it is completed.
I will now turn to the small scale schemes west of the Jordan to which the 91 Minister indirectly referred. I think you have got to combine in Jordan large-scale operations like the Yarmuk river with small scale help that will assist the Arabs. I warmly congratulate the Minister on the work that is done west of the Jordan by one very notable British expert. I spent a day with him. I believe that under the Mandate he was one of the country's agricultural experts. I saw what he was doing for various small farmers. He was using these funds to do it, and I can tell the Minister that the money has been well spent among the Arabs west of the Jordan. It is being spent by a man who really knows the country and who knows the villages.
The Arabs of Jordan are well aware that if money gets into hands without British control it will not always be as well spent as if it were under British control. I should like to urge upon the Minister that these small operations should be combined with big things like the River Yarmuk scheme. This continuation will do something to improve not only the economic conditions of Sudan, but what relations we have with the other Arab countries.
There is one other thing which I want to ask about, and it is something which is worrying most of us. We are spending £9 million a year on the Arab Legion, and we are only spending £1½ million on economic development. I cannot help feeling on this—and I found perhaps to my surprise that British officers attached to the Arab Legion agreed with me—that unless considerable more economic development is done in Jordan the money spent on the Legion will be wasted. What is the use of making a crack division in that area if the economic and social conditions are so bad that the Legion has to be used to police the area and hold it down?
Jordan is a police State today. In addition to the Legion there are no fewer than 3,500 policemen, and in my opinion there is virtually no genuine political liberty. There are one or two parties, but there is no real liberty. I do not blame the Government of Jordan for doing that with economic and social conditions as they are, but I cannot help asking myself whether it is in the best interests of the economic development of the country to distribute the funds on a 92 ratio of nine for military needs and one to avoid complete starvation. One may believe in military strength, but when it comes to nine to one on guns against butter we should not be surprised if the country turns more and more to Communism.
An Arab friend of mine who was a schoolmaster told me only a few weeks ago that he gave a lecture on Communism to his class of boys. At the end of it he asked were there any questions and the eldest boy got up and said, "Well, Sir, I should like to know if Communism is so bad why are all our fathers for it? "The Arab said to me that this gave him rather a start, because it made him realise what had happened in the last two years. There was not a Communist to be found in Jordan two years ago. The proportion that we are giving to the Arab Legion and to the economic development of the country is affecting the population adversely from every point of view.
Every time one goes from Israel to Jordan one goes from an area of hope to an area of utter despair. That is the real contrast between Israel and Jordan. However hard up they are, however impossible their economic situation seems to be, there is always hope in Israel as well as activity and energy. It is not only because the Jews are energetic. It is because there is a flow of investment into Israel, because the people are being provided with the tools to develop their country.
If Jordan were given today the opportunity by Britain on the same scale as the capital investment of the Jews is giving to their people in Israel, then that country might be a great deal more cheerful place, and, incidentally, there might be the chance of reconciliation between the two sides of what is undoubtedly an iron curtain.
Let no one under-rate the hatred and suspicion which divide the Arab world from Israel today. We have a chance, with these development funds in this one corner, to provide for economic development, and it will be a test of our Middle Eastern policy. I urge the Minister to reconsider whether he should not increase the allocations for economic aid to this small Arab country. I ask him to make this a pilot scheme, and whether we will try to give this one Arab country a chance 93 of getting above the destitution level— because that is where it is now.
Let us take this small country of Jordan, where there is some British influence and British power, and by putting one-twentieth of the energy into the development of its very scanty national resources that the Jews put into the development of Israel, help it to a new period of prosperity. By so doing we would not only help the Arabs but ourselves as well, because we would be creating the conditions in which Arab and Jew might possibly come together. They will never come together as long as we regard Jordan as a place from which we can get one division of troops, and for which we pay £9 million as against £1 million to keep the people from starving.
We ourselves will have to achieve a new attitude. If we continue with just this £1 million for economic aid the money we are spending on the Legion will be useless, because the people will turn against us and there will be no peace between Arab and Jew. Then the Middle East would be lost to the Western world. Is it not worth a practical effort to make a better show in this one area where we do have some influence, and do something to convince the Arab that we do not consider him as part of our strategy and nothing but that? Treat him as a human being and give him a chance to earn his living. We have done a fairly good job in Jordan with the miserable amounts we have been able to afford. I urge that vastly greater sums should go in, or else that we should give up and get out. The worst thing to do is to stay, while giving insufficient money to make the help really effective.
§ 6.31 p.m.
§ Mr. M. Philips Price (Gloucestershire, West)
I wish to say a word about this £450,000 to be spent on Jordan. Jordan is the most friendly of all the Arab countries, but her people have not forgotten what has happened in recent years in connection with the creation of the Israel State. They feel just as strongly about that as do other Arabs, although they are a little more balanced.
I entirely agree that it is time to look into this matter and see that our money is well spent and whether we should not do better by spending more. Israel has large American funds behind her, but 94 when we look at the balance of payments of Israel we see that it is rather poor. The proportions are about the same as they are for Jordan, despite the very large sums of money received by Israel in American remittances. Jordan has only our miserable sums to help her.
The problem of refugees makes matters worse. I cannot discuss that here, but I agree that the problem might be solved, at least in part, by the economic development of Jordan. This is a very difficult country to develop because a large part of it is semi-desert, but there is another area which can be irrigated. In 1946 I was in the plains of Jericho. The Arabs took me over some very fine banana farms which were irrigated from the Jordan. Further extension of that kind of thing could be made, particularly in the drier country in the hills beyond, towards the desert. I was there long ago, in the days of the Ottoman Empire. I rode on horseback from Damascus to Jericho and I remember the kind of country it was. Even under modern conditions I believe that it could be very much developed by dry farming and the improvement of livestock.
If this sum of £450,000 is to be spent on that kind of thing, it will be very useful, but it is not enough. I should like the Minister of State to tell us where the money goes. I was not here for the whole of his speech. I came in just as he was finishing, so I cannot ask him to repeat it. I am sure that the Committee would like to know more details of this expenditure. Education is wanted first and foremost in a country like Jordan, where a large proportion of the population is illiterate, in order to pluck the fruits of economic development. First of all primary and then technical education is what all the backward countries need more than anything else. I should like to know more about what is being done in that respect.
Another item on the Vote, which arouses no controversial feelings at all, is the additional sum of £2,840,000 for the assistance of Yugoslavia. It is very appropriate on this occasion, when Marshal Tito is visiting this country, that we should be discussing this Vote, and it will be generally welcomed. Yugoslavia has shown immense strength of character, which is typical of the Yugoslavs. I was in that country very soon 95 after the war, in 1946, when U.N.R.R.A. was working there after a very serious drought. The whole country was devastated by a drought.
Yugoslavia is liable to suffer from this and only modern methods of agriculture can deal with it by dry farming and irrigation, which require capital. When I was there, relations between Yugoslavia and Russia were still friendly, and the Yugoslavs were looking for assistance from Russia to aid them in this development. We all know that Yugoslavia has shown great courage. Not only was it dangerous to her politically to break off from Russia, but economically, because she was immediately cut off from all assistance from the North-East.
In view of the general political set-up in the East Mediterranean and in Eastern Europe, it is vital that we should give all the economic assistance we can to Yugoslavia because of the deficiency caused by the events of recent years. I am glad we are continuing this assistance. I see that the purpose is put down here as:obtaining raw materials, consumer goods"—possibly that is to help the upland districts, where the grain crop has failed—and other essential supplies and services.Anything that can help that country, whose people are of sterling character and have a strong feeling of independence, should be done. They have shown this sterling independence over the greater part of a century, in the early days of which they were struggling against the Ottoman Empire. Any help we give them today is money well spent for the political stability of Europe.
§ 6.39 p.m.
§ Mr. R. Brooman-White (Rutherglen)
I want to follow up only one point in the remarks of the hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman), in which he touched upon the guidance which had been given in Jordan on the expenditure of our funds there by a British expert with great local knowledge. There will be general agreement among those who know the Middle East that enormous advantages have been gained in the economic development of these regions by the presence of expert advisers which this country has maintained there. In any further expenditure for the development of those areas it would be false 96 economy to limit the activities of those experts; indeed, one of the best possible ways in which the money could be spent is in furthering the activities of these men and continuing the tradition which was built up by the work of the B.M.E.O.
We should do all we can to make available the services of these men who have working-level, technical knowledge of the agricultural, livestock and other problems of countries such as Jordan and the other Middle Eastern nations. I hope that great weight will be given to this aspect of the question.
§ 6.41 p.m.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
May I begin by expressing my thanks for the welcome given by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenock (Mr. McNeil) and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Philips Price)? I agree entirely with what both said. Most of our discussion, however, has been on the country of Jordan, and the fact that we should have discussed its development here shows our feelings of good will and friendship—indeed, I would say our admiration for the efforts made by the Government and people of Jordan under conditions of almost appalling difficulty.
The right hon. Gentleman suggested that we might at some other time have a much wider debate on the refugees from Israel. I will pass on that suggestion, but I say, quite frankly, that I am not sure that it would be of benefit. I am not sure that one of the troubles has not been that this problem has been openly debated too often. I know that in the House of Commons we would not get ourselves into the same position as we got into at the United Nations in New York, when the two opposing parties were there. I agree with the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West that it is better to go on with the economic development of Jordan and not seek formally to link up with other more controversial matters.
I was asked a good many questions and I am not sure to what extent all of them are in order. With the permission of the Chair, I will try to give some answers. I agree that conditions have deteriorated since 1951. One of the reasons for that was the drought in that area which was a disaster for the country. However, I 97 think this programme, and other matters which I hope will come into other programmes, will do a good deal to help.
First, with regard to the position of the Arabs west of the Jordan. Of this money, £190,000 is to go directly to the rehabilitation of that area. I agree that tourism is important, because of the opportunity it gives the country to increase its earnings. Of this money, £200,000 goes for the airport at Jerusalem, which should be of great benefit to tourism. In addition, £75,000 last year and £50,000 this year of this money will go towards helping to provide facilities of benefit to tourists.
So far as the Yarmuk scheme is concerned, £75,000 has already been spent on the survey for that, but it is a much larger scheme than can come within the limits of this programme. However, it is an extremely important one which should be undertaken, and we certainly hope that it will be.
Those are the answers to specific questions. I do not think it would be appropriate for me to go into the wider matter of the relation between the contributions to the Arab Legion and to development, but I can assure the Committee that we realise the importance of capital investment in this country and we realise that it is one with which we have firm ties of friendship. We will certainly do all we can, having regard to our own economic circumstances, to press on with the various development plans. Quite a lot of money is to be invested in Jordan, a good deal more than this programme, and it is our earnest hope that it will bring a higher standard of living and a measure of relief to a people who have been very sorely tried.
§ Mr. Crossman
Before the right hon. and learned Gentleman sits down, could he tell us anything about the potash plant?
§ Question put, and agreed to.
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £3,715,510, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1953, for sundry expenses connected with Her Majesty's Foreign Service; special grants, including grants in aid; and various other services.
§ MINISTRY OF DEFENCE SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATE, 1952–53
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £10, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1953, for the salaries and expenses of the Ministry of Defence; expenses in connection with International Defence Organisations including contributions and a contribution towards certain expenses incurred in the United Kingdom by the Government of the United States of America.