HC Deb 18 February 1964 vol 689 cc1014-5
27. Mr. Oram

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation if he will make a statement about the channels available to him for inviting rather than awaiting requests for technical assistance.

Mr. R. Carr

While it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government and the wish of the Governments of the developing countries themselves, that we should only provide assistance in response to their requests, close consultation is maintained with them regarding their development needs and the type of assistance we have available. The chief responsibility for this rests with British Embassies and High Commissions, but it is frequently supplemented by visits by the technical advisers attached to my Department and by other experts we send out for the purpose.

Mr. Oram

Is the Minister satisfied that all is being done that should be done to make the authorities in developing countries aware of the kind of assistance that is available through his Department? May I cite as an example of a good piece of work in this direction the circular which the right hon. Gentleman recently issued, on the advice of the Advisory Committee on Co-operation, about facilities here for receiving Commonwealth co-operators? May I urge the right hon. Gentleman to take similar action in respect of other parts of his Department's work?

Mr. Carr

I have this matter constantly in mind and I looked into it particularly on my recent visit to Asia. I hope that my Department will go on improving the work in this direction. I am grateful for what the hon. Member has said about it.