HC Deb 05 December 1983 vol 50 c17
72. Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Afairs what requests for assistance he has received from the authorities in Grenada; and what assessment he has made of the most urgent needs of its people.

Mr. Raison

A team of advisers from the British development division in the Caribbean visited Grenada to assess priority needs. Having studied its report, on 28 November we offered to provide up to a total of £750,000 to meet requests mainly for police training, advice and equipment, and social and economic infrastructure. So far, the only formal requests received here have been for advice on police matters. Requests in other sectors are expected soon.

Mr. Spearing

Can the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that requests that might be received from the provisional council of Grenada are not subject to previous negotiations and that they arise from the council? Is there any prospect of a Commonwealth force, not necessarily one that has a British contingent, replacing American security forces on the island?

Mr. Raison

The hon. Gentleman's second question is not really one for me to answer. I did not understand what the hon. Gentleman was getting at in his first question. I repeat that we shall consider requests as they are put to us on their merit.

Mr. Bowen Wells

What efforts is my right hon. Friend making to co-ordinate, and co-operate with, efforts being made by other aid agencies in regard to Grenada? Is the council set-up in Grenada yet capable of submitting to him the requests that he expects?

Mr. Raison

As to co-operation, it is right that those on the ground should work together to meet the needs of Grenada. On my hon. Friend's second point, I shall carefully consider what he said.

Mr. Cohen

Has the right hon. Gentleman heard of the re-emergence of the notorious and murderous mongoose gangs,? Will he ensure that aid given for law and order is conditional on the outlawing of those gangs?

Mr. Raison

I have not heard of the re-emergence of the mongoose gangs but if the hon. Gentleman has any evidence on this matter it would be appropriate for him to pass it on to my right hon. and learned Friend.