HL Deb 03 February 1966 vol 272 cc486-7

3.10 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much in money and in kind the United Kingdom has promised to contribute for the next three-year period to the World Food Program to meet calls for emergency feeding operations in Africa and Asia; and whether an account is to be published of the achievements of the first three-year period with details of the use made of resources supplied by the United Kingdom.]


My Lords, Her Majesty's Government have pledged 6.2 million dollars (£2.2 million) to the next World Food Program over the next three years. Half will be in commodities and half in cash. The World Food Program are already operating emergency feeding schemes in Africa and Asia, and account will no doubt be taken of the further requirements of the situation in those regions in allocating the resources which will become available under the new Program. I am sending the noble Lord a copy of a recently published account of the first three years' achievements.


My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for that reply. As there is a great deal of interest and some anxiety about Britain's part in this effort, may we please give a more human story in terms of what happens to the local agriculture and the feeding of the local people by reason of the assistance being given? I think that this would be helpful and would make the purpose of what we are trying to do better understood in the country.


My Lords, I am sure that the noble Lord has a point, but I do not imagine he wants me to tell this human story now. However, I will see whether something can be done along these lines.


My Lords, can the noble Lord tell me whether the Government have any plans for contributing funds in the future in Africa and Asia, from the point of view of family planning?


My Lords, if it is not too great a strain on the noble Viscount, I think he might read the debate which took place in this House last Thursday when this matter was dealt with.


My Lords, may I ask my noble friend whether that part of the contribution which is in cash carries any restriction or control as to the nature of its expenditure?


No, my Lords; there are no strings attached to it. It is administered by the World Food Program, which, of course, is an international body.