HC Deb 29 June 1960 vol 625 cc1370-1
17. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a further statement about the help given by this country to Chile since the recent disasters in that country.

26. Mr. Thorpe

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the total sum so far contributed by Her Majesty's Government towards relieving the distress caused by the recent Chilean earthquake; and whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to make a further contribution now that the needs of those affected have become apparent.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

As I informed the House on 26th May, Her Majesty's Government gave an immediate grant of £10,000 to help with emergency relief. We were also able to arrange for a Royal Air Force Britannia, which was then in Argentina, to fly emergency supplies to Santiago. The British Council has contributed towards the cost of rebuilding a school. In addition, firms in this country and the general public have responded generously to appeals from private organisations. I understand that contributions to a fund opened by the Anglo-Chilean Society have now reached over £37,500 in cash and £24,500 in kind. The British Red Cross has so far sent over £18,000 to Chile. The total contribution from this country, therefore, so far amounts to over £90,000.

The Chilean Government have informed us that the need now is for help with the cost of reconstruction by means of loans. We are urgently consulting other European Governments to see whether a joint project for assistance of this kind can be concerted with them.

Mr. Wall

While thanking my right hon. and learned Friend for that reply, may I ask him whether last week's earthquake caused any particular damage and will result in requests for further aid?

Mr. Lloyd

The information at my disposal is that it did not, but I will confirm that.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

In view of the recurrence of disasters of this kind all over the world, will the Foreign Secretary again consider a plan which was mooted before the war for the creation of an international united nations scheme for dealing with such events?

Mr. Lloyd

I certainly would like to examine the plan which was mooted before the war.