HC Deb 08 June 1989 vol 154 cc367-8
Q8. Mr. Dalyell

To ask the Prime Minister if she will seek to include on the agenda of the Madrid summit, European Economic Community policy towards debt-fornature swaps in relation to conservation of the rain forest.

The Prime Minister

I welcome the debt-for-nature swaps agreed voluntarily between commercial banks, conservation organisations and debtors, although their role is likely to remain small in relation to both developing country debt and environmental problems. The agenda for the European Council has not yet been agreed, but environmental issues may well be raised.

Mr. Dalyell

May I ask the Prime Minister a question of which I gave her Office a little notice? Does she support the European Parliament's resolution of 26 May on tropical timber products?

The Prime Minister

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me notice. The resolution, which is addressed to the Commission for initial consideration, deals with a number of aspects relating to trade in tropical timber. My right hon. Friends in the DTI, with their officials, are looking at its full implications.

Mr. Bell

In relation to the Prime Minister's earlier response as to our success in the European Community—

Mr. Speaker

Is this related to rain forests?

Mr. Bell

In relation to rain forests and the European Economic Community, should we not have a proper social contract throughout Europe?

The Prime Minister

It is much more practical for us to do what we do to assist the continuation of the rain forests and that is one of the reasons why we should be proud of being British.

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