HC Deb 08 February 1966 vol 724 c180
6. Mr. Francis Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what progress he has made with the establishment in the Caribbean, in Africa, the Far East and South America of regional development divisions similar to the Middle East Development Division based on Beirut, in view of the demand for British technical assistance in those regions, and the success of the work of his officers in the Middle East.

Mr. Greenwood

The Caribbean Development Division of the Ministry of Overseas Development will shortly begin work. Office staff have arrived in Barbados and the head of the division, Mr. W. L. Bell, will go there this month. Professional staff will follow.

I am considering the possibility of similar development divisions elsewhere but this is not a favourable time for their establishment.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is my right hon. Friend aware that Members on both sides of the House will be delighted with his Answer? For many years the work of the Middle East Development Division has been greatly appreciated in the Middle East, in the countries covered by the excellent officers working there. This is an admirable development. Can my right hon. Friend say when he expects the Caribbean Division to be fully operational?

Mr. Greenwood

My hon. Friend's remarks about the Middle East Development Division will be greatly appreciated by its members. I expect the Caribbean Division to be in full operation some time in April or May.

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