HC Deb 01 April 1969 vol 781 cc212-3
11. Mr. Wall

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what aid has recently been given or is proposed for the Somali Republic; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Oram

Since diplomatic relations were resumed in January 1968, we have mounted a programme of technical assistance to Somalia which, including training in Britain, we expect before long to cost up to £200,000 a year. We are also providing £60,000 a year to help the Somali Government to meet their obligations for the payment of pensions of officials of the former Somaliland Protectorate.

Mr. Wall

Would the hon. Gentleman remember that the Italian Government has presented Somaliland with both a Parliament and a university? Could we not be more generous towards the teaching of the English language, which is both needed and wanted in Somaliland?

Mr. Oram

We are building up, as my original Answer showed, but the hon. Gentleman will recognise that, within the limitations of the aid ceiling, there is not much room for manoeuvre when new countries come into aid and diplomatic relationships with us.

Mr. James Johnson

May I ask my hon. Friend a Question about the old, English-speaking North Somaliland? Has the British Council begun to function there, and is it functioning successfully? Have we a consulate there to give visas to those citizens in the North who wish to leave the country?

Mr. Oram

I ask my hon. Friend to give me notice of those specific points.