HC Deb 08 March 1960 vol 619 cc241-2
42. Mrs. Castle

asked the Prime Minister what response he has sent to the letter from the Blackburn Committee for World Refugee Year urging Her Majesty's Government to double its contribution to the fund.

The Prime Minister

The letter was acknowledged and the Committee informed that its views had been noted.

Mrs. Castle

Is the Prime Minister aware that the target for voluntary subscriptions has now been doubled by the Central Committee of the World Refugee Year for this country? In view of the great public interest and generosity shown, ought not, therefore, the Government to match this public interest and generosity by doubling their own contribution?

The Prime Minister

I think we all realise the tremendous value of this movement, started by some young men in our own country. It has been a great success with the public. The Government made an initial contribution. The Year ends on 31st May. All relevant factors will be taken into account as to whether the taxpayers should be asked by the Government to add to the contribution.

Mr. Gaitskell

In view of the fact that this is essentially an all-party matter, and we all rejoice at the quite remarkable success of the appeal that has been made, would the Prime Minister consider very seriously the proposal put forward, namely, that we should without further delay double our contribution?

The Prime Minister

I thought the Foreign Secretary put it very well yesterday, when he had the same questions. I think we should take all the facts into account and, before the end of the period, make our decision.