HC Deb 22 February 1962 vol 654 c610
4. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the total financial help given to Malta in 1961, both as part of the Development Plan and otherwise.

Mr. Maudling

Malta's financial year commences on 1st April and figures relating to the calendar year are not available. The total for the financial year ended 31st March, 1961, was £4.05 million, of which £3.3 million was for development. The latest estimated total for the year ending 31st March, 1962, is £3.12 million, of which £2.7 million is for development. These figures exclude sums advanced to Messrs. Bailey (Malta) Ltd. in connection with the conversion of the Dockyard.

Mr. Digby

Now that the election is over and it looks as though there will be a more stable political future for Malta—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—will this aid be reconsidered?

Mr. Maudling

Any question of future aid will have to be discussed when the new Malta Government is constituted, which I hope will be soon.

Mr. G. M. Thomson

Did I hear the right hon. Gentleman aright—that the aid during the coming financial year will be lower than the rate of aid last year? Is not this going quite the wrong way about it?

Mr. Maudling

The rate in the current financial year is slightly below, but not very much below, the rate for the preceding year. These year to year comparisons tend, however, to be a little misleading. One cannot draw too much of a deduction from them.

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