HC Deb 07 November 1966 vol 735 cc957-8
17. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on British-Indonesian relations, in the light of the Sultan of Jogjakarta's visit to London.

Mrs. Eirene White

The visit of the Sultan of Jogjakarta and Indonesian Ministers to London was proof of the rapid improvement in Anglo-Indonesian relations, and enabled us to hear at first hand Indonesia's plans for restoring the economy. A number of British firms are now examining with the Indonesian Government how their former links with that country could be renewed.

The improvement in relations has been further marked by the arrival of an Indonesian Ambassador in London after an interval of three years.

Mr. Dalyell

Is my hon. Friend aware that much of the recent famine in the outer Indonesian islands arises not from the overall shortage of rice but rather from the lack of transport to get rice inland? Is there not a case for linking such help as we give to Indonesia to under-used capacity in Britain—for example, motor vehicles at Bathgate?

Mrs. White

As my hon. Friend knows, Her Majesty's Government provided £1 million worth of emergency aid. Any practical suggestions which he has to make about the use of it will, of course, be carefully considered.