HC Deb 14 November 1977 vol 939 cc22-3
41. Mr. Fry

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what was the level of aid provided by the United Kingdom to Kenya in 1976; and what are the projected figures for 1977 and 1978.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Overseas Development (Mr. John Tomlinson)

In 1976, £11.5 million; the estimated disbursement for 1977–78 is £15 million. These figures do not include pension payments of £3.1 million or loans by the Commonwealth Development Corporation of £6.4 million in 1976.

Mr. Fry

In view of the substantial sums forwarded by the British taxpayer, will the Minister add his support to any approach to the Kenya Government to stop the blocking of funds which comprise the savings of many British citizens who have the misfortune to have them controlled by the Kenya Government and who have no ability at the moment to get their money back?

Mr. Tomlinson

If the hon. Gentleman has specific problems in that direction, I hope that he will write to me so that I can give the matter the serious consideration that it will no doubt warrant.

Sir G. de Freitas

In considerng this aid, will my hon. Friend remember that at all times since Kenya's independence in 1963 she has made the most sensible use of the aid that she has received from this country?

Mr. Tomlinson

That is certainly so, and that is why the Government have strong concern for the need to support the Government in Kenya, in accordance with our aid strategy.

Mr. Arnold

Does the Minister still believe that the Nairobi-based development division is the best way of administering aid both to Kenya and to the rest of East Africa?

Mr. Tomlinson

The question of the development divisions is under continuous review. If the hon. Gentleman has a particular problem which he thinks makes it less than the best way, if he gives me his detailed view it will receive the consideration that it merits.

Mr. Emery

Does the Minister take into account the fact that the Kenya Government are most concerned about the possibility of threats from the Somali border? In that context, is he giving every consideration to aid for defence for this part of Africa, which is essential to keeping a democratic structure within central Africa?

Mr. Tomlinson

The Government are very much concerned about the problem, but we do not use aid funds for defence purposes. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will appreciate the reason for that.

Forward to