HC Deb 19 March 1970 vol 798 cc581-2
3. Mr. Hooley

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether her Department will be represented in the British delegation to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development special committee on preferences scheduled to convene on 31st March.

Mr. Whitaker

No, Sir, but my Department, like others, will be consulted when the delegation's instructions are prepared.

Mr. Hooley

Does my hon. Friend agree that discussion on the generalised system of non-reciprocal preferences is of fundamental importance in the context of the aid given by rich countries to poorer countries? Is he satisfied that there is adequate consultation between his Department and the Board of Trade, or any other Government Department, on this point?

Mr. Whitaker

The two Departments work very closely together. I assure my hon. Friend that the importance of trade policy in relation to development is fully accepted and supported by the Government. The Government have always strongly supported the idea of tariff preferences for developing countries.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that a number of us feel that preferences for developing countries should not be so generalised as to remove the special first preference which ought to protect developing countries of the Commonwealth?

Mr. Whitaker

That, too, is taken into account.