HC Deb 21 July 1969 vol 787 cc1231-2
31. Mr. Maddan

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the comparative direct financial contributions which are being made by the Governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Kingdom under existing youth exchange programmes under the Anglo-German agreement.

Mr. Mulley

Her Majesty's Government at present provide £30,000 a year through the British Council which, I understand, is matched by an annual allocation of DM.300,000 from Federal German Government resources. Additional financial assistance is allowed by the Laender Governments on the German side and by local authorities and voluntary agencies in both countries but no figures are available.

Mr. Maddan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Bundestag has recently passed a resolution to spend £200,000 per annum on youth exchanges between Germany and the United Kingdom, provided Her Majesty's Government match that sum? When will the British Government agree to match it?

Mr. Mulley

I am aware of the resolution but I think that I am right in thinking that no sum was mentioned. The resolution said that the Federal German Government should have talks with us about it. We shall, of course, be very happy to discuss it with the German Government with the objective of furthering youth exchanges. The British Government very much welcome exchanges not only with Germany but with other European countries as well. But I must also stress that we should not look at these exchanges as being only in the context of Government to Government financial subsidy. A tremendous number of young people cross the Channel each way under their own steam or supported or assisted by voluntary organisations and local authorities. I think that that is still perhaps the most important area for further exchanges.

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