HC Deb 02 November 1954 vol 532 cc214-5
The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. Douglas Dodds-Parker)

With the permission of the House, I should like to make a statement. Hon. Members will be aware of the loss of life and devastation in the Province of Ontario caused by the recent hurricane. As a token of their deep sympathy with the victims of this disaster Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom have informed the Government of Canada of their desire to make a contribution of £25,000 to the Ontario Hurricane Relief Fund. The Canadian Government have expressed their great appreciation of this gift.

Mr. Attlee

On behalf of my hon. and right hon. Friends I should like to join in that expression of sympathy, and to say how glad we are that the Government have made this contribution.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I am very grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his words.

Mr. C. Davies

I am sure that every hon. and right hon. Member will join in the expression of deep sympathy with all who have suffered in this disaster. I am sure also that everyone will agree with this token—and it is only a token—of sympathy with Canada which has always been the first to come with sympathy and real aid to our assistance in times of trouble.

Mr. Gordon Walker

Whilst, of course, agreeing with the Government's action, may I ask whether it would not have been wiser to take that action a little more promptly, in order to avoid the sharp and pointed comments which have been made in some parts of the Canadian Press because of the delay in announcing a decision?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

It is always better to make certain first in what form help is desired, whether in cash or in other aid.