§ Mr. Dalyell
(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on his offer of help to the Italian Government in relation to flood disasters.
§ Mr. George Brown
I am sure the whole House will join with me in expressing the utmost sympathy to our Italian friends in the national disaster which has overtaken them. I have instructed our Ambassador to find out how best we can help. As soon as we have his report, we shall gladly do whatever lies in our power.
§ Mr. Dalyell
As a member representing thousands of constituents who work in Edinburgh, which has a twin-city relationship with Florence, may I, on behalf of my constituents, offer their sympathy to the people in the Italian river valleys? Does not this tragic situation once again underline the widely-argued case for a national disaster unit, inside the British Armed Forces, to meet catastrophes both at home and abroad? Secondly, while recognising——
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Will the right hon. Gentleman recognise that we are grateful to him for the statement he has made that he will consider what help can be given?
§ Mr. Philip Noel-Baker
Will my right hon. Friend consult the Home Secretary in order to see whether certain civil defence units can be sent to Italy to help?
§ Mr. St. John-Stevas
Will the right hon. Gentleman include in any scheme that he proposes a provision which will enable voluntary contributions to be made from the many lovers of Italy in this country?
§ Mr. Brown
Yes. One of the things that we wish to do is to make a monetary contribution, if our Italian friends are agreeable. But it is best for us to find out from them what they would like us to do. There will be tremendous opportunities for those of us who have been to Italy and who like the place and the people to make our private contributions.