HC Deb 21 December 1967 vol 756 cc1457-8
12. Mr. Archer

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether he will take steps to secure international agreement on the establishment of an international investment insurance scheme applicable to under-developed countries.

Mr. Oram

We are already participating in discussions organised by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development on draft articles of agreement for an International Investment Insurance Agency.

Mr. Archer

While I welcome that Answer, may I ask whether my hon. Friend would agree that there is some urgency in this matter? It may be the most immediate problem which is preventing investment in the under-developed countries at the moment.

Mr. Oram

I agree about the importance of this question, and in that sense it is urgent, but I would not like to minimise the difficulties in reaching the necessary international agreement for the establishment of such a scheme.

Mr. Henry Clark

In view of the urgency of the need for such a scheme, would the Minister give consideration not to an international agreement, but to an international convention which could link a series of national insurance schemes together rather than waiting the very long time necessary to reach a world consensus?

Mr. Oram

That is an interesting suggestion. It might enable earlier progress to be made.