HC Deb 12 November 1987 vol 122 cc542-3
6. Mr. Bowis

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many individuals and organisations have applied for funding from the international fund for Ireland; if he will list those approved with the amount granted in each case; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stanley

The international fund for Ireland is administered by an independent board appointed by Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the Irish Republic. Details of applications for assistance and awards made are a matter for the board. A copy of the fund's press notice of 27 August detailing programme allocations totalling £47.9 million is in the Library.

Mr. Bowis

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied and certain —if not will he make himself certain—that no money from the fund reaches any paramilitary or terrorist organisation? I have in mind especially the seepage that tends to happen from industries such as the construction industry to such organisations through the evil and unacceptable method of the protection racket.

Mr. Stanley

I endorse entirely my hon. Friend's sentiments. That important consideration exercises the chairman and the board members of the fund when they consider individual applications, which are, of course, carefully scrutinised from that standpoint.

Mr. Hume

Is the Minister aware that the European Community is willing to contribute to the fund and that it is simply awaiting encouragement from one member state—the British Government? Will he please give the Community that encouragement?

Mr. Stanley

The hon. Gentleman is familiar with the background to that. This matter raises wider issues of the EEC budget. He is aware of the substantial contributions that have been made in the Province and the Republic by the EEC through infrastructure funds and in other ways.

Mr. Budgen

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the Government's impertinent and raucous advice to the Americans about their domestic financial affairs is especially unfortunate because it provides some partial justification for the Americans in their arrogant and ignorant support of the Anglo-Irish Agreement through the fund?

Mr. Stanley

The Government Front Bench and, I believe, many Conservative Back Benchers and many Opposition Members welcome the fact that by August this year the United States Government had made significant contributions to the international fund. That is an important testimony to the American Administration's commitment to the process of economic and social advancement and reconciliation in North and South.