HC Deb 15 July 1963 vol 681 cc27-8
29. Mr. Millan

asked the Lord Privy Seal what proposals have been submitted by the British representatives at the current meeting of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in connection with the United Nations Development Decade.

44. Mr. Prentice

asked the Lord Privy Seal what proposals are being submitted by Her Majesty's Government at the current conference of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in Geneva in order to promote the objectives of the United Nations Development Decade.

Mr. P. Thomas

None, Sir. The two reports on the Decade which the Secretary-General has prepared in consultation with member Governments contain comprehensive proposals covering the whole field of development. What is needed now is a careful assessment of those proposals and action to implement them as speedily and as effectively as practicable.

Mr. Millan

Would the hon. Gentleman say what proposals Her Majesty's Government have for implementing these proposals of the Secretary-General? Is it not a fact that since the General Assembly passed a resolution in 1961 establishing the United Nations Development Decade virtually nothing had been done of practical consequence?

Mr. Thomas

I do not agree with that at all. I suggest that the hon. Member reads the reports of the Secretary-General. At the moment our delegation at the Economic and Social Council are dealing with these matters. Their main objective will be to ensure that the considerable financial, material and human resources which are being made available through the United Nations are being used in the most efficient and effective way possible to help developing countries.

Mr. Prentice

How far do these reports deal with the need to expand in 1964 the programme of technical assistance and the work of the Special Fund, which are falling behind the objectives originally set out in the Development Decade? If these efforts are falling behind, will Her Majesty's Government agree to making a greater contribution to these programmes along with other countries?

Mr. Thomas

The United Kingdom contribution for 1963 to the two United Nations voluntary funds, the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance, to which the hon. Gentleman referred, and the Special Fund, will increase by 25 per cent. to a total of 10 million dollars. We are the largest contributor after the United States.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Is not ten million dollars a ludicrously small sum for a project which is immensely in the interest of the British Commonwealth?

Mr. Thomas

This is only part of the assistance which we give to underdeveloped countries, which is considerable.

Mr. W. Yates

Nevertheless, will Her Majesty's Government be good enough to review how much they give to assist the United Nations in this programme?

Mr. Thomas

The matter comes up for review in the autumn.

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