HC Deb 16 November 1970 vol 806 cc844-5
14. Mr. Patrick Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on future aid policy.

43. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will now make a further statement of Government policy regarding the level of Government aid to developing countries.

Mr. Wood

The Government's proposals for an expanding aid programme were set out in the White Paper, Cmnd. 4515

Mr. Wall

While welcoming the decision to adopt the Pearson target, may I ask my right hon. Friend to say what action he is taking to encourage private investment to ensure that it acts as a pump primer for Government aid?

Mr. Wood

This is important, and it is to this end that we have set up a working party to examine the possibility of stimulating private investment in developing countries.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the vital importance of maintaining the public contribution in this sphere, particularly because of the services which it can provide and without which private investment is hardly valuable?

Mr. Wood

Yes. I recognise not only its importance but the importance of maintaining and increasing it.

Mrs. Hart

Does the right hon. Gentleman intend to fulfil the plans of the previous Government for the publication of a White Paper covering all the aspects of his present overseas aid policy?

Mr. Wood

I said quite recently that I would consider this. I am still considering it and I have the matter very much in mind. However, I am not able to say anything further about it at present.

Mr. Tilney

Will my right hon. Friend consider the great help which private enterprise can give to aid if only it can insure against the inability to remit profits?

Mr. Wood

That will naturally be one of the matters that the working party will examine when considering steps to stimulate private investment in the developing countries.

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