HC Deb 23 February 1965 vol 707 cc216-7
18. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what are the main forms of aid to Pakistan; and what changes she has proposed as a result of her recent visit.

Mrs. Castle

We give Pakistan both technical and capital assistance. During my visit I discussed with the Pakistan authorities their needs for technical assistance which are becoming increasingly sophisticated. These discussions will greatly help me in ensuring the availability in Britain of the facilities needed. I was also asked about the possibility of our providing more consultancy services and I am pursuing this.

At Pakistan's request, our capital aid has mainly taken the form of "general purpose" loans, that is to say loans to enable Pakistan to meet her general developmental needs from Britain. The detailed discussions I had on their needs will be of great value to me in considering with them our future capital aid programme.

Mr. Pavitt

Would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that although the needs are more sophisticated, the major needs in Pakistan still remain rural and village development schemes? Will she give special assistance to the co-operatives, which had their home in the Punjab between the wars, in order to ensure that when the Pakistan Government finishes its third five-year plan, which is now in progress, that sector of the economy will receive a full measure of support from her technical assistance resources?

Mrs. Castle

I agree that agriculture is a very important part of Pakistan's problem. I made it quite clear that we were ready to give any assistance in this respect which might be found valuable. Certain suggestions have been put to us which are being followed up. I will certainly bear in mind what my hon. Friend has said about co-operatives.

Mr. Wall

Will the right hon. Lady bear in mind that Pakistan is our treaty ally in C.E.N.T.O. and is becoming increasingly worried about the amount of military aid given to India and expects that aid to be matched in some degree?

Mrs. Castle

Questions of military aid are not for my Ministry.