HC Deb 14 July 1980 vol 988 cc1052-3
69. Mr. Welsh

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he now proposes to consider a programme loan to Jamaica.

Mr. Neil Marten

As I said in my reply to the hon. Members for Lambeth, Central (Mr. Tilley) and for Battersea, South (Mr. Dubs) on 16 June, we do not consider that we should be justified in providing such a loan in the absence of an economic programme which has international support.

Mr. Welsh

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Jamaica is going through a very had economic period, and needs help as quickly as possible? Will the Government show a little bit of the milk of human kindness and try to get some help to Jamaica now? If help is given, will the hon. Gentleman give an assurance that it will be new money, not money that is given for overseas development?

Mr. Marten

We have been extremely kind to Jamaica. Over the past two and a half years Britain has lent £27 million to Jamaica. In spite of that, and help from others, including the International Monetary Fund, Jamaica's economy has declined. What we really want to get round to is a medium-term economic programme, prepared by the Government of Jamaica, which would command international support. That is the key to further aid to Jamaica.

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