HC Deb 06 March 1972 vol 832 cc1025-6
33. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the estimated value of official capital and technical assistance to Tanzania during the current financial year.

37. Mrs. Hart

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

Mr. Wood

During this financial year British aid to Tanzania is expected to amount to £66,000, all technical assistance.

Mr. Judd

Can the right hon. Gentleman assure us that he and the Overseas Development Administration, and not the political wing of the Foreign Office, have been in full command at all times of all aspects of aid policy towards Tanzania? In particular, has he in mind any further plans to suggest the withholding of a further loan by I.D.A. to Tanzania? What criteria does he use when deciding whether to withhold assistance to any developing country?

Mr. Wood

Perhaps I should make one thing clear to the hon. Gentleman, who I am sure is aware of the background to this matter. There are two main things which we must have in mind. One is the need of Tanzania for further development funds, from the World Bank and no doubt elsewhere. The other is the proper rights and interests of British citizens in Tanzania who were bona fide owners of property there. These two considerations have been very much in my mind.

Mrs. Hart

But is the right hon. Gentleman aware that any suggestion that Her Majesty's Government would seek, because of the bilateral disagreement with the Government of Tanzania on a matter affecting British citizens, to influence the decision of the World Bank on an I.D.A. loan would he regarded by many of us as completely improper?

Mr. Wood

As the right hon. Lady knows, because my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State answered Questions on 14th February on the matter, we took the view at that time that the approval of the World Bank to the loan would be inconsistent with its own lending policies. That was why the World Bank took the action it did on that occasion and later sent out a mission to Tanzania. We then decided, in the light of that action, that it would be right to support this new credit at this time.

Mr. Evelyn King

Is it not a fact that, in the context of even the most elementary human and civil rights, Tanzania offers the most deplorable example?

Mr. Wood

I do not think I can comment on my hon. Friend's point except to say that we hope that this compensation issue between Tanzania and this country will be settled.

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