HC Deb 14 November 1967 vol 754 cc76-8W
Mr. Dan Jones

asked the Secretary for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the Government's plans to encourage the development of voluntary community service by young people.

Mr. Denis Howell

The Government have been greatly impressed by the desire of young people to give help to the less fortunate members of the community and it believes that this constitutes a fund of energy and goodwill which the country should harness. In order to give it the stimulation of a professional approach, backed by the necessary funds and expert knowledge, the Government proposes to establish a unit, under a charitable trust, which will employ and direct a team of experienced workers available upon invitation to assist local and hospital authorities and voluntary bodies to develop voluntary service to the community. My right hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) has agreed to serve as Chairman and the right hon. Members for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd), and Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) have agreed to serve as Vice-Chairmen. The remaining members of the trust will be as follows:—

  • Mr. R. I. Brightwell.
  • Lt. Col. J. Carreras, M.B.E.
  • Mr. H. C. L. Garnett.
  • Mr. J. Hardman.
  • Mr. L. A. Hart.
  • Ald. B. S. Langton, C.B.E., J.P.
  • Mrs. L. M. Townsend.
  • Mr. D. G. Walters.
  • Mr. D. Wilson.
The essential characteristics of the unit will be to establish local "Service by Youth" opportunities in co-operation with local authorities and social service organisations and provision of a consultative service. It is hoped that it will attract financial support from voluntary sources, but to enable it to be started, the Government are making a sum of up to £100,000 available over the first three years of operation towards the cost of this central service. The Unit will, however, be independent of the

Calendar Years £'000
1964 1965 1966 1st January, 1967 to 31st January, 1967 Current Estimates. 1967–68
Technical Assistance under Colombo Plan 9 19 94 48 210
Financial Aid Grants 8 19 38 15 75
Police Training (British Advisory Mission) 64 36 52 34 82
81 74 184 97 367

The main additional commitments incurred since May relate to road building equipment (approximately £75,000); equipment for the Faculty of Pharmacy at Saigon University (approximately £21,000); and X-ray and other equipment for the extension at the children's hospital in Saigon (approximately £35,000). Two extra full-time doctors for the paediatric team have also been employed.

Total technical assistance disbursements in the current financial year will depend on the time it takes to complete Government. The Variety Club of Great Britain have agreed to be asociated with the project.