HC Deb 05 February 1962 vol 653 c4
5. Mr. Prentice

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what contribution will be made by Her Majesty's Government to the $100 million fund of surplus food and cash to be built up in the next three years under the joint programme being organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the United Nations.

Mr. Soames

This programme is still in the planning stage and the conference for pledging food and cash will not be held until later this year. As a food-importing country we do not envisage that the United Kingdom will have surpluses of food to contribute to the World Food Programme and with the limit we must impose on our total financial contribution to underdeveloped territories, any cash payment to this fund could only be made at the expense of our contribution in other spheres.

Mr. Prentice

Is the Minister aware that that is a disappointing reply? Will he confirm that a number of countries, many of them poorer than us, pledged sums in support of this at the F.A.O. Conference in November? Will he consider again, against the background that world population is going up faster than food production, whether some action on our part ought to be taken towards this end?

Mr. Soames

The countries which have pledged support are the United States, Canada and Denmark, all of whom have food surpluses.