HC Deb 01 April 1969 vol 781 cc204-5
2. Mr. Gwynfor Evans

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether there has now been a resumption of Government aid to Anguilla.

12. Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what aid he proposes to give to Anguilla in the financial year 1969–70.

The Minister of Overseas Development (Mr. Reg Prentice)

I would refer the hon. Members to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman) on 24th March. I will make a further statement as soon as I have had time to consider the recommendations of the officials from my Department who are at present in Anguilla—[Vol. 780, c. 220–21.]

Mr. Evans

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the decision to give assistance is very welcome and that it would be still more welcome if the Government were resolved not to try to achieve Western affluence in the island at the expense of the dignity and culture of the people there, but rather to develop and to strengthen the culture and the traditional pattern of life on the island?

Mr. Prentice

It is our objective both in Anguilla and throughout the world to promote development which is in accordance with the culture and wishes of local governments and peoples and to help them to help themselves with their own development.

Mr. Jenkins

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many people who have been critical of some aspects of the Government's overseas policy do not find the faults with Government policy in this respect which some hon. Gentlemen have found? Has my right hon. Friend any further statement to make arising from reports that some provisional settlement has been reached? What are the overseas development implications of such a settlement if one is around the corner?

Mr. Prentice

I think that the first part of my hon. Friend's question is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. On the development aspects, a team from my Department is in Anguilla at the moment, and I expect very shortly to receive detailed proposals from it.

Mr. Braine

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, before it was suspended aid to Anguilla was routed through St. Kitts. Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is the intention to provide any aid that may be agreed in future direct to Anguilla, and when can we expect a statement?

Mr. Prentice

The discussions to which I have referred have been between officials of my Department and Mr. Lee. Following the arrangements made by my noble Friend, Lord Caradon. I expect that Mr. Webster and members of the Provincial Council will be brought into those discussions. I expect that in future aid will flow directly to Anguilla, rather than through St. Kitts.

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