§ Mr. Fenner Brockway
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the negotiations between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Malta, regarding financial assistance.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd,
pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 31st October, 1956, Vol. 558, c. 148],supplied the following full statement :The United Kingdom and Maltese Government are grateful to the Economic Commission for the speed with which they have examined the Maltese Budget and the care with which they have framed their recommendations.2. Her Majesty's Government accept the Maltese Budget proposed by the Economic Commission for 1956–57 and agree to make available from United Kingdom funds the amounts necessary to meet the deficit on that Budget. These amounts will be:
- (i) up to £1,731,703 in respect of war damage and reconstruction;
- (ii) up to £225,000 in respect of emigration;
- (iii) up to £343,000 from colonial development and welfare funds;
- (iv) subject to the approval of Parliament and to the conditions in paragraph 3 below, up to £3,361,002 in respect of Grant in Aid of administration.3. Her Majesty's Government also agree that the balance of the Consolidated Revenue Fund shall be £1,000,000 at the end of 1956–57 and will make such payments, within the amount of grant in aid of £3,361,002 recommended by the Economic Commission, as are necessary to maintain the balance at that figure. The Maltese Government for their part 205W agree to meet from the Fund the cost of any recoverable loans to be advanced in 1956–57, and recognise that Her Majesty's Government are not committed by these arrangements to the maintenance of the balance in the Fund as a permanent part of their financial arrangements with Malta.4. Her Majesty's Government will stand ready to consider a case for a supplementary grant in aid in respect of certain items mentioned by the Economic Commission in their interim Report and of certain other items to which they have subsequently drawn attention. In considering any such changes in the Budget, the cost of which cannot be met from savings, Her Majesty's Government will consider themselves free to review the question of the level at which the balance of the Consolidated Revenue Fund is to be maintained at the end of the current financial year. They recognise, however, that the Maltese Government cannot bind themselves in advance to accepting a reduction in that balance.