HC Deb 18 December 1962 vol 669 cc169-70W
Mr. Grimond

asked the Minister of Education what amounts have been offered by Her Majesty's Government to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation towards the fund for saving the temples at Abu Simnel; what sum the United Kingdom was invited to pay as its share; and what instructions in this matter have been sent to the British delegate at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Sir E. Boyle

The United Kingdom's contribution to the international campaign to save the monuments of Nubia has consisted of the exploration work being conducted with great success by the Egypt Exploration Society. This work has been assisted by grants paid by the Treasury to the British Academy amounting up to the present to £20,000: and further grants of up to £25,000 between now and 1964 have been promised.

No contribution has been made or offered by Her Majesty's Government for the specific purpose of saving the temples of Abu Simbel. The 12th session of the General Conference of U.N.E.S.C.O. recently rejected a proposal put forward by the Director-General that the Organisation should guarantee the cost to the United Arab Republic of implementing the first stage of a project for raising the temples. This would have been done by negotiating a loan, the repayment of principal and interest to have been made over a period of 20 years as a charge on the Organisation's regular budget, which is financed from the assessed contributions of member states. The total estimated cost to the Organisation of this proposal would have been some $42 million, of which the United Kingdom's share would have amounted to over $3 million. The British delegation voted against this proposal which was inconsistent with the voluntary nature of the campaign as a whole.

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