HC Deb 01 April 1969 vol 781 cc209-10
7. Mr. Scott-Hopkins

asked the Minister of Overseas Development if he will review the criteria laid down for Voluntary Service Overseas with a view to relating them more closely to the requirements of the countries receiving these volunteers.

Mr. Oram

I am satisfied that the four Societies within the British Volunteer Programme regularly review both the qualifications and also the training and orientation needed by graduate and professionally qualified volunteers to match overseas needs.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Does the hon. Gentleman not agree that many people are perfectly well qualified in the view of the countries which would receive them but do not come up to the criteria of his Department? Does he not agree that we are leaving out many people who want to serve overseas countries in many capacities, whom those countries would accept, but who are debarred from serving because of the criteria laid down?

Mr. Oram

It is not up to us to tell developing countries what their needs are. The societies submit the volunteers selected by their panels to the overseas countries before appointment is taken up. There is close liaison between the societies and the overseas countries, and I do not think that the scheme is open to the criticism which the hon. Gentleman makes.

Back to