HC Deb 12 May 1980 vol 984 cc832-3
39. Mr. Bowen Wells

asked the Lord Privy Seal when he will be able to report the results of his review of the Commonwealth Development Corporation; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Neil Marten

We are undertaking a review of the activities of the Commonwealth Development Corporation in the light of the statement on aid policy which I made to the House on 20 February. Officials of the corporation are participating fully in the work being done. I am not yet able to say when it is likely to be completed.

Mr. Wells

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. When does he expect the review to be completed? Is he aware that urgent decisions must be taken in relation to the Commonwealth Development Corporation investment programme and manning, and the chairmanship of the corporation, within the next few months.

Mr. Marten

I recognise the need for urgency in completing the review. I cannot say precisely at this stage when that will be. Whenever it is, the House will be informed of the conclusions reached by Ministers. Any change of policy in relation to the CDC as a result of the review will be the subject of a statement to the House.

Mr. Deakins

Can the Minister confirm that the CDC has a future under the Government's new aid policies?

Mr. Marten

I rather think so, but that is what the aid review is always about.

Mr. Hooley

Is the Minister aware that the CDC is doing a brilliant job in developing countries by carrying out projects which are fully commercially viable and which, at the same time, make important contributions to the economies of the countries in which they are operating?

Mr. Marten

That is true. There has been no review of the CDC since 1975 and it is time for another.