HC Deb 02 March 1955 vol 537 cc2045-6
16. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what contribution was made by Her Majesty's Government last year to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund; and how much was voted by this organisation to be spent in British territory overseas.

Lord John Hope

Her Majesty's Government's contribution to U.N.I.C.E.F. in 1954 was £200,000. In the same year U.N.I.C.E.F. allocated £299,367 for projects in British non-self-governing territories.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is it not rather shameful that last year we sponged on the Fund to the extent of nearly £100,000? Are we so hard up that we cannot afford to give this really deserving Fund at least as much as we draw out of it?

Lord John Hope

I think that the hon. and gallant Member is under a misapprehension. The U.N.I.C.E.F. figures do not include the 50 per cent. minimum matching contributions from the territories themselves. These matching contributions are, in part, financed from the Colonial Development and Welfare Fund, which is, of course, a direct charge on the Exchequer.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is it not a fact that this expenditure is a very good bargain for the British Commonwealth and Empire? Is it not desirable that we should increase our subscription so that the total funds contributed by other nations may also be increased and the scale of the work enlarged?

Lord John Hope

It would no doubt be desirable if we could do that, and if we can do so we shall, but it would not be fair to call it a bargain in that we could then be judged not to be playing our part.

Captain Waterhouse

Is it not a fact that this country subscribes very handsomely to all the United Nations funds?

Lord John Hope

Yes, Sir, that is so.