HC Deb 12 February 1973 vol 850 cc980-1
35. Mr. Sutcliffe

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will give estimates expressed in percentages of the likely proportion of the British contribution to an EEC regional fund and of the British share of the total disbursement from such a fund.

Mr. Peter Walker

Decisions on the Regional Development Fund will not be taken until later this year and it is therefore impossible to predict United Kingdom receipts from it. Our contribution to its costs will be the same as our share of the Community budget as a whole.

Mr. Sutcliffe

Is my right hon. Friend saying that the regional fund will be wholly financed from the common agricultural fund and that he does not expect any further contribution towards the regional fund from member States?

Mr. Walker

There certainly could be further contributions from the member States, but the contributions from member States in whatever form will be in the same proportion as at present.

Mr. Varley

In the definition of EEC regions, and particularly the definition which will come out this year of "central area", will the Government insist that all the present assisted areas in Britain will be excluded from the central area and thereby continue to receive preferential aid?

Mr. Walker

The Government must decide their position after analysing the total European position.