HC Deb 08 February 1966 vol 724 cc189-90
19. Mr. Chataway

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what support he will give to the World Bank's recently published proposals for supplementary financing; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Greenwood

The scheme in question is a report by the Bank's staff for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development rather than a proposal by the Bank. We are giving it thorough consideration. The supplementary financing proposals were sponsored by the British and Swedish Governments and we hope that they will lead to a viable scheme.

Mr. Chataway

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this Government have done nothing to follow up the initiatives taken by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition at the 1964 U.N.C.T.A.D. Conference? Will he at last put his weight behind this proposal for ironing out the fluctuations in the export targets of developing countries, as this is of first importance and it stems, as he said, from that U.N.C.T.A.D. Conference?

Mr. Greenwood

The hon. Member is a little unfair. This is a matter which we have been pressing: it is a most valuable suggestion. It is too early yet to say whether it will prove to be feasible in practice, but it could be a most useful contribution to the prosperity of the developing countries.

Mr. Dell

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it would cause considerable disappointment if the British Government were unable to support these proposals, especially in view of the very low cost put upon them by the World Bank?

Mr. Greenwood

Proposals are at present before the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and there is no intention on our part of obstructing them. I am most sympathetic to them, but there are a number of practical details still to be worked out.