HC Deb 24 November 1954 vol 533 cc1233-5
16. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will now make a statement as to the grant Her Majesty's Government are prepared to make to the United Nations technical assistance programme for the coming year.

Sir Anthony Eden

Yes, Sir. Her Majesty's Government are fully conscious of the special part the United Nations technical assistance programme can play in increasing production and prosperity in countries where that is so greatly needed. Subject to the approval of Parliament, therefore, we propose to increase our contribution to £800,000 in 1955.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that this statement will be welcomed, but at the same time has he given consideration to the suggestion that some indication should be given of our future contributions over a period of years?

Sir A. Eden

We thought that this was, the right way of doing it. I should not like, at this moment, to debate the question of long-term contributions, but this is a generous and a right move on the part of Her Majesty's Government. I am obliged to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer for making it possible.

Major Legge-Bourke

Can my right hon. Friend say whether any proportion of this extra amount will be devoted to trying to ease the terrible plight of the Arab refugees?

Sir A. Eden

My hon. Friend knows the wide range of this work, and we think it is one of the very best organisations under the United Nations. That is why we have singled it out—if I may put it that way—to give it this extra help.

20. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what total sum has been contributed by the United Kingdom to the United Nations Technical Assistance Fund during 1952, 1953 and 1954: and how much has been spent in these years in the United Kingdom by the United Nations Technical Assistance Board.

Lord John Hope

As my hon. Friend said in reply to the hon. Member for Newport (Mr. Peter Freeman) on 9th November, the amounts were as follows:

1952 450,000
1953 500,000
1954 650,000
Figures for the amounts spent in the United Kingdom in 1952, 1953 and 1954 are not available.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is it not the case that the last time this Question was asked the Government answered that we had made a net gain on foreign exchange out of technical assistance; and will the Joint Under-Secretary find out if that is still true?

Lord John Hope

We have just increased our contribution.