HC Deb 13 June 1973 vol 857 cc315-6W
27. Sir D. Dodds-Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will approach other member countries of Western European Union to consider establishing a skeleton planning staff to collect information about reserve stocks of food and medical supplies and availability of certain engineering and communication and transport facilities which would enable early action to be taken jointly with, and within, all countries of the EEC; and, with their prior agreement, to help the associate members of the EEC in the event of disasters such as flood, earthquake or famine.

Mr. Amery

The Government attach great importance to contingency planning against disasters. We support the work of the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator whose office we played a major part in establishing. We also contribute to the European Community's food aid programme. I am not clear as to what could be the advantages of creating yet another agency on the lines my hon. Friend suggests.