HC Deb 29 April 1960 vol 622 cc23-4W
Sir C. Mott-Radclyffe

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what aid Her Majesty's Government are giving to victims of the earthquake disaster at Lar in Iran.

Mr. Profumo

Her Majesty's Government have heard with profound regret of the loss of life and damage to property which has been suffered by the inhabitants of Lar in this disaster. To assist in relief we are offering a sum of £10,000.

Parliament will be asked in due course to vote the money by means of a supplementary estimate to the Foreign Office Grants and Services Vote. In the meantime, an advance is being obtained from the Civil Contingencies Fund. The question of how this contribution shall be made—whether in cash or in equipment—is at present being discussed with the Iranian authorities. Preliminary inquiries indicate that the greatest need may be for money for rebuilding the town of Lar since it seems likely that every house in this town of 15,000 inhabitants will be found to be unsafe and have to be demolished. We have been assured that enough help is available on the spot to deal with the immediate situation and that British rescue teams are not needed.

There have been no reports of loss of life or injury to British subjects as a result of the earthquake.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary who is at present in Teheran, has—by command of Her Majesty The Queen—conveyed to the Shah of Iran an expression of Her personal sympathy for the victims of this earthquake and for their families, and for the suffering inflicted on the people of Iran.