HC Deb 13 April 1965 vol 710 cc1145-6
14. Mr. Patrick Jenkin

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether Her Majesty's Government will now give full support, financial and otherwise, to international programmes for the education of the peoples of the developing countries in the techniques of family planning.

Mrs. Castle

We are ready to give sympathetic consideration to initiatives that have the agreement of the Governments of these countries and appear likely to be effective.

Mr. Jenkin

In thanking the right hon. Lady for that reply, may I ask her to recognise that many people have been disappointed with the amount of support and encouragement given by this country to international programmes for family planning? Could she not undertake to give more wholehearted and enthusiastic support for these programmes, which many people recognise as lying right at the root of solving the problem of poverty in under-developed countries?

Mrs. Castle

I have made clear on more than one occasion the great importance which I extend to this section of the whole planning problem in developing countries. We stand, however, as did the previous Government, on the thesis that the request must come from the countries concerned. The initiative must come from them. If it does come, and from wherever it may come, we will give it our full support, whether through bilateral technical assistance or through international programmes of various kinds.