HC Deb 09 February 1956 vol 548 cc215-6W
Mr. P. Williams

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he will make a statement on the present financial position of the Bechuanaland Protectorate

Commander Noble

In March, 1954, Her Majesty's Government agreed to the grant of additional financial assistance to the Bechuanaland Protectorate to enable a general improvement in the standard of services to be made. It was agreed that assistance should be given on the basis of detailed examination and approval of the Bechuanaland Protectorate annual estimates of revenue and expenditure. An estimated deficit in 1955–56 which could

each separate category were rejected or allowed.

Mr. Sandys

The total number of appeals decided during 1955 was 2,029. Details are as follows:

not be met from the general revenue balance was of the order of £50,000, and this was provided in the current estimates. This money will, however, not be required as it is now expected that the Protectorate will be able to meet the current year's deficit from its general revenue balance.

There will, however, be a temporary shortage of funds pending the receipt of a large item of revenue in late March, 1956, and it is proposed to grant an interest-free loan of £50,000, repayable in 1956–57, to provide the territory with a working balance. Should the territory require an advance before the Supplementary Estimate is available, it may be necessary to obtain an advance from the Civil Contingencies Fund.