HC Deb 30 July 1964 vol 699 cc428-30W
Mr. Prior

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement about recent developments in the sphere of British overseas aid.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Yes. In the Gracious Speech at the beginning of the present Session it was announced that it was the intention of the Government to provide an expanding programme of financial and technical assistance for the developing countries. In pursuance of this, we have since taken a number of important initiatives in both the multilateral and the bilateral fields.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development, has reported to the House the proposals that we put forward at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, including the important initiative for study of a system of Supplementary Financial Assistance, which would provide developing countries with assistance to counter the risk of disruption of their development as a result of adverse movements in export earnings. My right hon. Friend also announced to the Conference our intention to increase our contribution to the United Nations Special Fund and to the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance, to contribute to the African Development Bank and to examine sympathetically the possibility of assisting other regional development banks. We are arranging for a substantial contribution, in one form or another, of £ 7. 1 million ($ 20 million) towards the resources of the Inter-American Development Bank.

In addition, Parliament has passed legislation providing for an increased annual contribution to the International Development Association, and we have made a further contribution to the United Nations Programme of Civil Assistance in the Congo.

Other initiatives were announced at the conclusion of the recent meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers, including proposals for a scheme of Commonwealth Development Projects, increased capital aid for higher education and an expansion of training facilities for senior administrators from developing countries in the Commonwealth.

At the Third Commonwealth Education Conference, which is due to be held at Ottawa in August, we shall be making proposals directed to the expansion and improvement of the Commonwealth Educational Co-operation Scheme.

Specific bilateral commitments in recent months include among many others our undertakings to provide £ 52 million of economic aid for Kenya over the next three years, £ 51 million for Malta over the next ten years— subject to satisfactory continuation of the defence arrangements— and increased aid for the Sudan.

Our aid goes out to many countries, Commonwealth and others. Our outlay on technical assistance goes up steadily. Expenditure on non-military aid in 1963– 64 reached the level of £ 175 million. This was higher than ever before. In addition, our expenditure on military aid in 1963– 64 was £ 30 million.