HC Deb 22 February 1988 vol 128 c20
67. Mr. Malcolm Bruce

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received regarding the provision of development assistance for Kampuchea.

69. Mr. Tom Clarke

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current level of United Kingdom overseas aid to Kampuchea; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Patten

I have received a number of representations. As I said on 1 February, in reply to a question from the hon. Member for Eccles (Miss Lestor), it would, in the Government's view, be wrong in principle to give development aid to the illegitimate and unrepresentative regime in Phnom Penh. We should nevertheless be prepared to consider providing humanitarian assistance in the context of any internationally organised relief effort. We provided nearly £1.5 million in 1987 to help Cambodians who have sought refuge in the camps along the Thai-Cambodian border.

Mr. Tom Clarke

Does the Minister agree with the views given in the White Paper that was produced by Oxfam, specifically regarding Kampuchea? Does he agree that, if people are living in poverty and if there is infant mortality and problems of personal health, they are entitled to our aid and assistance without any regard to the political views that a minority in those countries might express?

Mr. Patten

I do not agree with Oxfam on this matter. I agree with the 116 countries, in addition to the United Kingdom, which have endorsed the position taken by the United Nations General Assembly.