HC Deb 19 February 1958 vol 582 cc1194-5
11. Mr. Russell

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the reasons for the increase in Her Majesty's Government's contribution to the International Supervisory Commissions in Indo-China; and if he will make a statement on the work of the Commissions.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

Her Majesty's Government's contributions have been made on receipt of requests for funds from the Indian accounting authorities and not on any regular periodical basis. An increase in any specific contribution therefore does not necessarily reflect an increase in the Commissions' expenses In fact, the running costs of the Commissions have been appreciably reduced over the last year. The functions of the International Commissions were laid down in the Geneva Agreements, which were published as a Command Paper. Some of these functions have been completely fulfilled, particularly in Laos and Cambodia. But in divided Vietnam the Commission continues, in the view of Her Majesty's Government, to make a valuable contribution to stability.

Mr. Russell

Can my right hon. Friend say whether other countries have also increased their contributions?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I hoped I indicated that we have not increased our contribution. It is simply that the last payment was for a larger sum. The cost of running these Commissions is, in, fact, being reduced.