HC Deb 28 June 1965 vol 715 cc31-2W
Mr. Molloy

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether she will now announce the programme for service overseas by volunteers in 1966–67.

Mr. Oram

Yes. After consultations with the voluntary bodies (International Voluntary Service, the Nation Union of Students, the United Nations Association and Voluntary Service Overseas) and discussion in the Lockwood Committee it has been agreed that the target for the graduate and qualified volunteer programme for 1966–67 should be 1,300. V.S.O. intends to send out about 500 cadet volunteers (school-leavers and young volunteers from industry) in that year. The Government will meet 75 per cent. of the British costs of 1,300 graduates and, by agreement with V.S.O., 400 cadets.

The programme for the graduate volunteers is only 100 larger than this year's programme, which is proving difficult to fulfil completely. The voluntary bodies and the Government are agreed that we should not sacrifice quality for the sake of quantity and that in 1966 we should concentrate on strengthening the machinery for project selection. To this end the voluntary societies intend to arrange for more frequent visits to the developing countries by members of their staffs to discuss at first hand the selection of projects and to evaluate the work which their volunteers are already doing. Where necessary the voluntary societies will recruit extra staff for this purpose. The Government's support of the volunteer scheme of course extends to expenditure of this kind.

There will be fresh publicity to stimulate recruitment for 1966–67, including the showing of a film about volunteers produced by the Central Office of Information.