HC Deb 01 April 1969 vol 781 c213
16. Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether the contribution made by the Government to Nigerian/Biafran relief is to be met out of the existing aid ceiling without addition to the money already allocated for overseas aid.

Mr. Prentice

All the relief we have pledged is to come from money already allocated for overseas aid, but the £500,000 for food grains derives from our commitment to the Rome Food Aid Convention and is additional to the normal aid ceiling.

Mr. Lyon

Does not that mean that the contribution which we have made for relief to Nigeria in these exceptional circumstances is being bought at the expense of needy developing countries in other parts of the world? Would not it be more generous to add to the existing aid ceiling the amount which we have given in relief to Nigera?

Mr. Prentice

There are two points to bear in mind. The first is the overwhelming feeling in the House that we were right to have made a substantial contribution to relief in this situation. The second is the immense pressure on public resources and the need to include new expenditure in the ceiling which has already been settled.