HC Deb 24 November 1954 vol 533 cc1232-3
15. Dr. King

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the public sympathy as revealed by gifts to the United Nations organisation's appeal for the Children's Fund, he will endeavour to increase the Government's contribution to the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund for 1955.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Lord John Hope)

I have nothing to add to my reply to the hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Reeves) on 17th November.

Dr. King

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this fund represents one of the nobler pieces of international work, and that the amount per head contributed makes this country stand 26th in the list—underneath Yugoslavia, Poland, France, and Czechoslovakia? Does he not think we ought to give a much more generous contribution to help the children?

Lord John Hope

I can say two things in reply to the hon. Gentleman. First, we did double our contribution last year, and, second, the accusation which the hon. Gentleman has made that we are 26th in the list does not take into account the residual assets of U.N.R.R.A., which amount to a great deal of money. If we take that into consideration, we go to very near the top.

19. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how much per head of the population of the United Kingdom Her Majesty's Government have contributed to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund during 1952, 1953, and 1954.

Lord John Hope

Her Majesty's Government's contributions to the United Nations Children's Fund during 1952, 1953 and 1954 represent, respectively, 0.235d., 0.47d. and 0.94d. per head of the population of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Noel-Baker

In that case, am I right in thinking that the total for the three years is about 2d. per head of our population, whilst the corresponding figure for Canada is 5s., for New Zealand 8s. and for Australia 10s.? Could we not do something to bring our contribution a little more into line with those of the Commonwealth?

Lord John Hope

In answer to an earlier Question, I tried to suggest that the fairest thing to do is to put into the balance all that we have contributed towards this fund. If we do that, the picture is really not bad.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Will the Joint Under-Secretary of State appreciate that Australia, Canada and New Zealand also made large contributions to U.N.R.R.A. in the early days, and that, therefore, we are on a footing of equality with them there?

Mr. Smithers

Is it not a fact that this country per capita is one of the most generous contributors in the world to international organisations?

Lord John Hope