HC Deb 22 February 1988 vol 128 cc18-9
65. Mr. Spearing

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in adopting the recommendations of the second report from the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs on "Bi-Lateral Aid (Country Programmes)."

Mr. Chris Patten

The Government welcomed the second report from the FAC, and its reply (Cm. 225) is a detailed response to the Committee's recommendations.

Mr. Spearing

Does the Minister agree that it is unfortunate that the Department of Overseas Development has many millions of pounds at its disposal for the assistance of what are, in effect, industrial exports? Although some of those exports may have a development element, would it not be better if the sums spent for that purpose were deducted from the Pearson targets or any other percentage related specifically to overseas aid?

Mr. Patten

I thought that our response to the FAC on that point was overwhelmingly convincing.

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