§ 32. Mr. F. Noel-Baker
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what contribution Her Majesty's Government proposes to make to the Freedom from Hunger Campaign, in view of the generous public response to the voluntary appeal.
§ 41. Mr. G. R. Howard
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what advisory services Her Majesty's Government are contributing towards the Freedom from Hunger Campaign; and what financial help is being given to it.
§ Mr. Soames
Her Majesty's Government have contributed £55,000 directly to the Campaign, and a further contribution of some £61,000 is being made through the budget of the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The services of all Government Departments concerned, including arrangements for investigating projects in the developing countries, are available to the National Campaign Committee on request. Whilst the House will be delighted that the public has responded with outstanding generosity in its contributions to the Campaign, so ably conducted by the National Committee, it will be appreciated that the prime purpose of the campaign is that it should be on a people to people basis, and in addition to the aid given by Governments. I understand that several major voluntary organisations are considering how best to coordinate their efforts in the field of help to the peoples of the developing countries. I welcome this, and will consider in the light of their decision whether 914 or not the Government might appropriately play a part.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Do not the right hon. Gentleman's figures mean that the contribution from official sources so far has been £35,000 at the beginning of the campaign and a further £20,000 to F.A.O. in July, 1960? Does this really match up to the public effort? The public have pledged nearly £4 million and have contributed nearly £1½ million in this campaign already. Will not the right hon. Gentleman reconsider the very ungenerous contribution made so far by the Government and step it up?
§ Mr. Soames
This is quite apart from the World Food Programme, which is essentially a governmental programme, and also apart from the other aspects of aid by this country to the developing countries. The Freedom from Hunger Campaign is essentially a "people to people" campaign. That was the idea behind it. Incidentally, the sum given by the Government at the beginning of the campaign to help get it launched was £50,000 and not £35,000. We also made a contribution of £60,000 through the regular budget of the F.A.O. These sums were given because it was essential to get the Freedom from Hunger Campaign launched so that the people themselves could have the opportunity to make their contribution towards solving this very considerable problem.
§ Mr. Boyden
In view of the very mean financial attitude of the Government, what contribution has been made in kind by the right hon. Gentleman's Department? If there has been none, is there any proposal to make some such contribution in future?
§ Mr. Soames
Contributions in kind are channelled through the World Food Programme, operated by Governments separately from the very important Freedom from Hunger Campaign, which is designed to get campaigns going in different countries to enable the countries concerned to help themselves. Her Majesty's Government's contribution in kind is going through the World Food Programme.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. There has been a practice this afternoon of hon. Members calling themselves. The Clerk will now proceed to read the Orders of the Day.
§ Mr. P. Browne
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As it is unlikely that my right hon. Friend will be answering questions again—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—before the General Election, would he answer Question No. 36, which is the result of the report of a committee which has been a long time in preparation and is very important?
§ Mr. Speaker
That is wholly irregular as a point of order. The Clerk has read the Orders of the Day.