HC Deb 19 December 1960 vol 632 cc857-8
19. Mr. Prentice

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the fact that contributions have now been made by the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and many other countries to the malaria eradication fund of the World Health Organisation, Her Majesty's Government will now reconsider their decision to make no contribution.

Mr. Powell

No, Sir. The Government remain convinced that the campaign to eradicate malaria should be maintained on the regular budget of the World Health Organisation, to which our contribution is the third in size.

Mr. Prentice

Has the Minister seen the statement of the Director-General of the World Health Organisation that it is technically possible to eradicate the malaria-bearing mosquito within a few years, and that if this special campaign fails it will only be for lack of funds? Is he aware that many other nations have contributed to this special fund, and that some of them are much poorer than we are? Will he reconsider his decision? Does not he think that it is an exciting, worth-while project that should succeed, and that the Government should do something extra to help it along?

Mr. Powell

I have made an inquiry into the matter and I am advised that there is no question of this work being held up through lack of funds. The Executive Board of the World Health Organisation is recommending to the Conference, when it meets next February, that more and more of this expenditure should be brought on to the regular budget, and that the Government believe to be right.

Dr. Summerskill

Does the Minister think that in the African countries which are malaria-ridden our reputation is enhanced by our refusal to give one penny to the ad hoc malaria eradication fund?

Mr. Powell

The World Health Organisation ought itself to be the means of deciding the channelling of funds to its various purposes and, as I have reminded the House, we are the third largest subscriber to that Organisation.

Mr. Arbuthnot

Will my right hon. Friend also bear in mind the considerable activity of the Ross Institute in this respect?

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Will the Minister propose, in the Assembly of the W.H.O., that the budget shall be increased by an amount adequate to eradicate malaria?

Mr. Powell

Again I must say that I am not aware that the funds available for this campaign are the limiting factor. My advice is that they are not.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is not that contrary to the evidence of many people who are principally concerned, given in the last few months?

Mr. Prentice

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter at the earliest possible moment.

Forward to