HC Deb 03 February 1964 vol 688 cc819-20
36. Mr. J. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps Her Majesty's Government propose to take in order to implement the agreement by the Council of Ministers of Western European Union to increase co-operation with, and assistance to, Latin America.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Robert Mathew)

It was agreed at the Ministerial Meeting of the Council of Western European Union that possibilities for developing relations between Europe and Latin America should be further studied in the Western European Union Permanent Council. Her Majesty's Government will play a full part in these studies, and we hope that they will lead to useful results.

Mr. Hynd

Can the hon. Gentleman assure us that the House will be kept fully informed of any progress in this very important development?

Mr. Mathew

Yes, Sir.

37. Mr. J. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what measures, in the form of technical assistance capital aid for economic and social development, and educational facilities, at British universities, are being undertaken by Her Majesty's Government, either directly or through the Alliance for Progress, to give assistance to Latin America.

Mr. Mathew

Details of our technical assistance programme in Latin America, and of the scholarships to be awarded for Latin Americans to attend British universities this year, were given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary for Technical Co-operation in answer to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire South-West (Mr. Longden) on 17th December, 1963.

As regards capital aid, Her Majesty's Government have joined with other European creditor countries in giving financial assistance to Argentina and Brazil to ease their external debt. This has been done by offering loans to refinance maturities falling due on certain medium term commercial debts. An agreement for a loan of £2½ million was signed with Brazil in 1961, and an agreement for a loan of up to £10 million was signed with Argentina in 1963. Other capital loan agreements were signed with Bolivia in 1962, and with Chile and Colombia, in 1963, for a total of about £3.8 million. Further projects are being considered.

Mr. Hynd

The hon. Gentleman has said nothing about any association with the Alliance for Progress. Can he tell us whether Her Majesty's Government are co-operating, and, if not, will they seek means to do so?

Mr. Mathew

The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that we are not members of the Alliance for Progress, but our efforts to help the economic and social development of Latin America are, we believe, fully consonant with the principles of the Alliance, and, of course, the Americans will be kept informed.

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