§ Mrs. Hart
The United Kingdom is a party to the Community's one year renewal of its membership of the Food Aid Convention; and has indicated its readiness to see all Community food aid programmes continue at or around their present levels for the next year or two. The size of the United Kingdom share of the cost of these programmes will primarily depend on the outcome of the renegotiations now in progress.
§ Mrs. Hart
The Council of Development Ministers has not yet completed its examination of policy on the Community's food aid programmes, including emergency actions, which now cost over £100 million per annum. It accepted Community renewal of its membership of the Food Aid Convention—providing for food aid in grains—for one further year and in so far as its other programmes are concerned, it has reached a broad consensus on the need for tighter financial budgeting and control, for better geographical distribution, that is, with a bias to the poorer countries, and for improved management. But it has not yet decided on the overall volume the Community can or should afford.
I do not believe that food aid serves the purposes of development in the same way as financial aid. However, the present indications are that food aid will be necessary in the short term to assist in emergency situations. The Government have therefore indicated that they can agree to sustaining in the immediate future a Community Food Aid Programme at about the existing level.