HC Deb 17 March 1959 vol 602 cc184-5
13. Colonel Beamish

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, when the Smith Mission, headed by Mr. James Smith, Director of the International Co-operation Administration, which administers United States foreign aid, visited British Territories in Africa; what was its purpose; what consideration is now being given by Her Majesty's Government to its first conclusions; and if he will make a statement about the possible lines of development of this new example of Anglo-American co-operation.

Mr. H. Nicholls

This mission, of the United States International Co-operation Administration, visited Africa in November, 1958, to explore the possibilities of greater utilisation of the scientific resources of the United States, and other countries, in attacking the problems of under-developed territories, particularly in tropical Africa. The mission was naturally anxious to see the work in this field being carried on in British Territories. Her Majesty's Government welcomed their interest and, at the invitation of the Americans, two British scientists were attached to the party.

In the United States of America, I.C.A. has the advice of a distinguished panel of scientists and experts, which has been established by the United States National Academy of Sciences under the chairmanship of Dr, W. Albert Noyes. My noble Friend the Lord President understands that this committee is expected to report to I.C.A. in June. In this country my noble Friend has appointed a panel of scientists, chosen for their experience in this field, under the chairmanship of Sir Alexander Todd, to advise generally in this field, and collaborate with the American panel. Her Majesty's Government welcome this new example of Anglo-American collaboration.

Colonel Beamish

While joining with my hon. Friend in the welcome he has given this new arid enlightened American approach, may I ask if he can say in what directions this most important development is likely to take place?

Mr. Nicholls

Mainly in tropical agriculture and tropical medicine.