§ Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many military accidents occurred to RAF planes in the period January 1970 to the latest available date; how many Service men were killed; how many were injured; how many aircraft were lost and what was the approximate cost of the planes involved.
§ Mrs. Hart
Plans have emerged from the World Food Conference for a fund for agricultural development, a world food council, and committees on world food security and on food aid policies and programmes. I am now examining the detailed recommendations of the conference as they concern my responsibilities with a view to organising a maximum British response.
The World Food Conference was concerned with the need to improve food production and distribution, with nutrition and with rural development in the developing countries. It was accepted by all countries at the conference that first priority must go to increasing food production in developing countries. The British Government have already made clear the priority they are giving to rural development, and I hope that this can be 33W reflected in the requests we receive from developing countries.
The conference agreed that a World Food Council should be set up at ministerial level to function as an organ of the United Nations, reporting to the General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council. Member States would be nominated by ECOSOC and elected by the General Assembly. It is proposed that the council secretariat should be provided within the framework of the FAO and have its headquarters in Rome. Agreement was also reached on the outline of an international fund for agricultural development. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has been requested to convene a meeting of all interested countries and institutions to work out the details. The fund will become operational as soon as the Secretary-General decides that adequate additional resources will be forthcoming and that the operations of the fund have a reasonable prospect of continuity. It was also agreed that two committees should be set up, one on food aid policies and programmes and one on world food security. It is proposed that the committee on food aid policies and programmes should be an adaptation of the inter-governmental committee of the world food programme concerned with consultation on national and international food aid policies and programmes. The committee on world food security would be a standing committee of the FAO Council and would have a monitoring r…le in relation to the supply, demand and stocks of basic foodstuffs.
Plans were made for improving the exchange of information on harvest plans and prospects. The Government welcome the call for better information as being an essential first step in bringing about world food security and hopes that all major producing countries will co-operate in this matter. The conference endorsed the objectives, policies and guidelines of the FAO's proposed international undertaking on world food security, which envisages international co-ordination of stocks as one of the measures necessary to ensure adequate availability of basic food supplies. Together with other members of the FAO Council, Britain has already endorsed this undertaking in principle and hopes that operational and practical difficulties can 34W be overcome at an early date as called for by the conference.
The conference also adopted a resolution on trade and international agricultural adjustment, emphasising the concept of non-reciprocity and other measures in favour of developing countries and requesting all developed countries to implement or enlarge their schemes under the generalised system of preferences.