HC Deb 03 April 1963 vol 675 cc480-1

I announced on 17th December that the Government were prepared to agree to an additional £10 million of aid to under-developed countries, provided that this additional aid could be linked with spare productive capacity in this country. It seemed sensible that we should try to link the needs of the under-developed countries with idle productive resources in this country. The Committee may like to know what success we have had in this attempt.

As was announced on 11th March, the first proposal to come to fruition was the making of a loan to Ghana to cover the cost of two ships to be built in the North-East. The loan was for rather more than £2 million, and the order will give employment to some hundreds of men for about eighteen months.

Since the announcement about ships for Ghana, and indeed within the last few days, further loans have been arranged. We have agreed to make a loan of £3½ million to India, over and above the aid that we had previously contemplated, to cover the cost of steel plates and other steel products of which the Indians stand in great need both for development and maintenance.

We have also agreed in principle to make a loan of £2 million to Pakistan to buy sugar machinery, and further loans totalling about £2 million to the East African Common Services Organisation for purchase of diesel locomotives and wagon ferries.

Apart from these proposals which have now been successfully arranged, we are considering a number of others; and, in addition, we are trying to ensure, wherever possible, that aid under our existing commitments is linked with surplus capacity.