HC Deb 28 July 1964 vol 699 cc1213-4
9. Mrs. Castle

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent the £175 million of overseas aid given by Her Majesty's Government in 1963–64 was returned to this country in the form of debt-service payments, repatriated compensation payments, export earnings due to Export Credits Guarantee Department loans, and debt settlements with United Kingdom firms, respectively.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Reginald Maudling)

During 1963–64 we received £14 million in capital repayments of aid loans and £18 million in interest. There is no record of the extent to which compensation payments are returned to this country, nor is it possible to say how much of our expenditure of £50 million on loans under Section 3 of the Export Guarantees Act consisted of additional export earnings. Of the total aid expenditure of £175 million in 1963–64, £5½ million was made available under inter-Governmental re-financing agreements which enabled firms in developing countries to meet their obligations to British firms.

Mrs. Castle

Is it not a fact that of the £175 million that we gave in aid in 1963–64, a total of about £110 million to £120 million returned to this country in the form of debt repayments, repatriated compensation payments, export earnings due to tied loans, and all those other factors mentioned in the Question? Does not this show that the burden of aid on the balance of payments has been exaggerated, and that this should therefore not be advanced as a reason why the Government should not immediately increase their overseas aid to I per cent. of the national income, as they have been urged to do by the United Nations?

Mr. Maudling

I do not think that the burden has been exaggerated, and I think that we are living up to the target. The fact that people spend the money we lend them on buying British goods does not make it any less aid.