HC Deb 21 June 1965 vol 714 cc1183-4
15. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs having regard to the financial difficulties of the United Nations, whether Her Majesty's Government will move for the suspension of any further tours abroad by or on behalf of its Committee on Colonialism as a measure of economy.

Mr. George Thomson

Her Majesty's Government do not consider that this would serve any useful purpose. Their attitude to tours abroad by the Special Committee on Colonialism, in the present financial difficulties of the United Nations, has been made clear by the fact that the British representative voted against the present tour on the grounds of the expense involved.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Could not Her Majesty's Government be more zealous about economy in the United Nations, particularly with regard to its less constructive activities? Can the hon. Gentleman mention one piece of informed and useful advice that Her Majesty's Government have received from this Committee on the administration of dependent territories?

Mr. Thomson

On the question of economy in the work of the United Nations, I think that the amount of money spent on the United Nations in pursuing its constructive purposes is infinitesimally small compared to the amount of money that the nations devote to armaments. One has got to see it in that perspective.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Can the hon. Gentleman give the House the cost of the recent trip by this Committee and can he say what countries paid for it?

Mr. Thomson

Yes, Sir. The Secretary-General has estimated the cost at 109,000 dollars, and the United Nations pays the travelling expenses of the delegates.

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