HC Deb 01 March 1965 vol 707 cc161-2W
13. Sir C. Osborne

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of the statement by the Food and Agriculture Organisation that to provide a reasonably adequate level of nutrition for A.D. 2000 for the predicted population of 7,000 million, the world's total food supply will have to be trebled, and that for the last five years there has been no increase in world agricultural production, what instructions he has given to the British representative at the United Nations regarding the control of population and the increase of world food supplies; and if he will make a statement.

50 and 74. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) what instructions have been given to the British delegates at the United Nations with respect to the encouragement of family planning on an international scale, in view of the population increase in the under-developed countries;

(2) what instructions he has given to the United Kingdom representative at the United Nations on the problem of the world population explosion, the need to expand and improve the production and distribution of world food supplies, and the need for the extension of family planning facilities and knowledge.

Mr. George Thomson

The specific question of population control was last debated at the thirty-seventh session of the Economic and Social Council last August, when the British representative stated that the United Kingdom was prepared to give technical assistance for population control projects and would also give sympathetic consideration to proposals for United Nations action in this field. In our view the initiative in this matter should come from the developing countries themselves, and we hope that some of the developing countries will present proposals for United Nations action on the next occasion when these matters are discussed. We shall give any such proposals serious and sympathetic study and will be ready to support any initiatives that appear likely to be effective and suitable.

As regards world food supplies, Her Majesty's Government co-operate wholeheartedly and actively with the Food and Agriculture Organisation in their primary task of improving food production throughout the world. In the particular sphere of the distribution of food, we have in the past three years contributed substantially to the experimental World Food Programme administered jointly by the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The future of this programme is at present under review.