§ Mr. Braine
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what interim financial arrangements Her Majesty's Government propose to make to assist Malta, following their recent discussions with the Maltese Prime Minister.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I welcome this opportunity of informing the House that Her Majesty's Government, having examined with the Maltese Government their estimates of revenue and expenditure for the year ending 31st March, 1956, recognise that it will not be possible for the Maltese Government to provide from their own resources the budgetary services that are agreed to be necessary. Her Majesty's Government are accordingly prepared, subject to the approval of Parliament, to provide funds to the Government of Malta in respect of the current financial year, on the basis of the agreed Budget.
This contribution will take the form of a grant of such sum as may prove necessary to maintain the balance in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Malta at a figure of £1 million at the 31st March, 1956, subject to a maximum grant of £2 million in respect of the current year. The contribution 42W will be in addition to the funds already being provided in respect of war damage and reconstruction, the net cost of the services of the Malta Imperial Government, and grants under the Colonial Development and Welfare Acts.
I shall present at a suitable time, a Supplementary Estimate to give effect to this agreement.