HC Deb 23 October 1972 vol 843 cc167-8W
Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the recent official visit by the Minister of State for the Overseas Development Administration to Botswana.

Mr. Richard Wood

The object of my six-day visit to Botswana was to acquaint myself with the country; to discuss with His Excellency the President, the Vice-President, Ministers and officials Botswana's development aims and problems; and to meet people concerned with the British aid programme there. I was able to visit the Orapa diamond mine, the Selibe-Pikwe copper-nickel developments (the Shashe project), the Botswana Meat Commission at Lobatse, the Geological Survey headquarters, the Agricultural Research Station and other centres of interest. I was able to see something of the main towns of Gaborone, Francis-town and Lobatse, to attend the laying of the foundation stone of the Botswana campus of the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, and to be present at the university's annual graduation ceremony.

I think that my visit to Botswana, which was part of a tour including also visits to Lesotho and Swaziland, was a useful preparation for talks to be held shortly in London between the Botswana and British Governments, at which the level of British development aid for the three years 1973–74 to 1975–76 will be negotiated.