HC Deb 11 March 1971 vol 813 cc160-1W
Mr. Hastings

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent financial talks with the Government of Malawi.

Mr. Kershaw

These talks are held annually to discuss the British aid programme in Malawi. For the coming financial year, the British Government have offered to provide the Malawi Government with a grant-in-aid of up to £1.8 million budgetary assistance, together with an interest-free loan of up to £3.35 million for approved development purposes and up to £0.3 million grant money towards the building costs of the Malawi University. The two latter amounts comprise part of the British Government's existing commitment of aid, details of which were given to the House respectively on 19th March, 1970, and 21st December, 1965. Further budgetary assistance of up to £1.3 million and up to £0.8 million has also been offered for 1972–73 and 1973–74 respectively, beyond which time it is thought that no further budgetary assistance will be required. Because the amount offered for 1973–74 will be needed in the first quarter of that year and in order that Malawi's revenue account should be in balance at the beginning of that year, the British Government have offered to issue the full amount for that year at the end of 1972–73. The amounts agreed for all three years will require adjustment when the full effect of the acceptance by the Malawi Government of the British Government's offer to assume responsibility for the cost of certain pensions payable to expatriate officers is known. Details of the British Government's proposals regarding expatriate pensions were given to the House on 11th March, 1970.

The British Government has also offered to provide an additional interest-free loan of up to £42,000 to enable the Malawi Government to meet their share of the actuarial deficit in the Central African Pensions Fund.

The Malawi Government have accepted these offers of budgetary and other assistance.

Parliament will in due course be asked to provide the necessary funds.—Vol. 798, c. 207–8; Vol. 722, c. 403–4; Vol. 797, c. 1344–9.]