HC Deb 26 April 1993 vol 223 cc723-4
38. Mr. Nicholas Winterton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that where British aid is used by a foreign country for the purchase of imported goods, those contracts are placed with British companies.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Goods imported under British bilateral aid are for the most part supplied from Britain.

Mr. Winterton

Does my hon. Friend accept that many companies that support the objectives of the Manufacturing and Construction Industries Alliance, which has been formed by hon. Members from all parties, industrialists and trade unionists, have greatly benefited from what I would describe as aid-linked export projects? Does he also accept that the more that British industry, whether consultants, manufacturing or construction, benefits from the money that the United Kingdom gives to overseas aid, the more overseas aid will be supported because people will realise that there is a continuing benefit to the United Kingdom from the aid that my hon. Friend's Department gives to needy countries?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I agree with my hon. Friend. The more that British people appreciate the benefits that accrue to British industry, the more generous they will be with aid. In multilateral aid terms, the latest estimate is that for every £1 in United Kingdom contributions we gain £1.20 in orders. We do extremely well because of the reasons that my hon. Friend has given. About 70 per cent. of our bilateral aid is tied.