HC Deb 21 December 1967 vol 756 c1457
10. Mr. Judd

asked the Minister of Overseas Development if he will make a statement on the work of the United Kingdom delegations to the specialised agencies of the United Nations.

Mr. Oram

My right hon. Friend is responsible for our relations with the Food aid Agriculture Organisation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, and I can assure my hon. Friend that our delegations play an active and constructive part in furthering the work of these agencies. I know that the same is true of British delegations to other specialised agencies.

Mr. Judd

I do not dispute that the delegations do very valuable work, but would not my hon. Friend agree that there is an unfortunate lack of detailed information in the House about the proposals being put forward in the name of Britain? Would it not be sound, for this reason and other reasons, to see the early establishment of a Select Committee on overseas development?

Mr. Oram

The establishment of such a Committee is not for me. As to detailed information available for hon. Members, I am aware of this problem in connection, for instance, with the Report of the biennial conference of U.N.E.S.C.O. I would be prepared to give further thought to how further information could be given to hon. Members.

Mr. Costain

Will the Minister give the House examples of the work that they are doing—either in the OFFICIAL REPORT or in other ways?

Mr. Oram

We have played a leading part. My right hon. Friend and other members of the delegations have played an important part in the considerations of the F.A.O. Conference in Rome recently. It. is a vast field. I do not think that at a Question and Answer session like this one can pick on particular items.