HC Deb 19 February 1970 vol 796 cc574-5
20. Mr. Hooley

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what is her estimate of the number of volunteers who will go abroad under the British Volunteer Programme in 1970; and what were the comparable figures for 1969 and 1968.

Mr. Whitaker

The voluntary societies hope to have at least 1,500 graduate and qualified volunteers and 325 cadet and school leaver volunteers overseas at the end of 1970. The provisional figures for 1969–70 are 1,490 and 337 respectively, and for 1968–69 1,414 and 373.

Mr. Hooley

Is my hon. Friend satisfied with the latest growth of this very important and valuable form of aid?

Mr. Whitaker

The figures reflect the fact that overseas Governments are becoming increasingly selective about the quality of the posts for which they require volunteers. My hon. Friend will be glad to hear that the proportion of our volunteers who served for two years rather than one was 37 per cent. last year compared with only 20 per cent. in 1967.

Mr. Marten

Is there any intention on the part of the Government to alter the rate of contribution involved?

Mr. Whitaker

We have no plans for doing so at present.

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