HC Deb 19 March 1970 vol 798 cc579-80
1. Mr. Hooley

asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will publish a White Paper on the proceedings of the Conference on Overseas Aid which she attended in the United States of America in February, 1970.

14. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether she will make a statement on the Conference on Overseas Aid which she recently attended in the United States of America.

The Minister of Overseas Development (Mrs. Judith Hart)

While in the United States, I attended a Conference on International Aid organised by Columbia University, and another by the Overseas Development Council in Washington. It would not be apropriate for me as a participant to publish a separate account of these, but I will place in the Library of the House, when they become available, copies of a summary being prepared of the Washington conference and of papers to be published on the Columbia meeting. I have already placed there a copy of my own speech at the Washington Conference, which opened the proceedings there.

Mr. Hooley

I thank my right hon. Friend for her helpful reply. Will she tell the House whether, in the course of the conference, there was serious discussion of the use of special drawing rights to provide development aid to poorer countries, particularly in connection with the replenishment of the I.D.A.?

Mrs. Hart

There is, as I think my hon. Friend knows, a later Question on the Order Paper about the replenishment of the I.D.A. In answer to the first part of his supplementary question, there was no such discussion at any sessions at which I was present, but the Columbia University Conference broke up into several separate panels, in one of which, I think, questions about S.D.R.s and trade were discussed.

Mr. Willey

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, having read transcripts of the speeches which she made at these conferences in the United States, I am convinced that they merit a wider audience?

Mrs. Hart

I am most grateful to my right hon. Friend. The difficulty about our proceedings in the House is that much of what one says is not said to the House.

Sir E. Boyle

I had the pleasure not only of being at the New York conference but also of hearing the right hon. Lady's speech. Will she consider including in what she puts in the Library the summary made for us in New York of what was discussed at the previous conference at Williamsburg, Virginia?

Mrs. Hart

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the Williamsburg Conference which preceded the one which he and I attended was very interesting. I am not sure which papers will be available for publication, but to the extent that papers are available I will certainly do what I can.