HC Deb 11 July 1979 vol 970 c450
8. Mr. Cyril D. Townsend

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on Great Britain's relations with Uganda.

Sir Ian Gilmour

The British Government recognised the new Ugandan Government on 15 April. We are maintaining normal relations with the Government of President Binaisa.

Mr. Townsend

Do the Government know the whereabouts of Idi Amin? Does my right hon. Friend agree that Uganda is a special case for aid? Finally, will he do all in his power to make sure that all necessary humanitarian aid is given to Uganda as it tries to break away from the disastrous years of Idi Amin?

Sir I. Gilmour

We have no knowledge of the whereabouts of ex-President Amin. I entirely agree with my hon. Friend about the change of Government and the beneficient results flowing therefrom. Discussions with the Ugandan Government are proceeding on the allocation of the emergency aid grant already agreed. I had discussions with the Ugandan Foreign Minister when he was here, and we intend to resume a full Uganda aid programme when circumstances permit.

Mr. McElhone

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in April, after talks between British officials and the new Uganda Government, £1 million of aid was immediately offered, with a commitment of £10 million of aid? I am aware that £1 million has been given, but does the right hon. Gentleman agree that, to give the Prime Minister some degree of credibility before the Lusaka conference, that commitment should be honoured?

Sir I. Gilmour

As the hon. Gentleman knows, we are reviewing the aid programme. I had useful talks with the Ugandan Foreign Minister. I am sure the hon. Gentleman will accept that it is not altogether easy at present exactly to decide how aid should be spent. However, we are in touch with the Uganda Government.