§ Mr. Hooley
asked the Minister of Overseas Development what changes in the direction and priorities of the British aid programme will be made in the light of the conclusions of the Commonwealth Conference on Rural Development.
§ Mrs. Hart
As I told the House on 25th November last year—[Vol. 882, c. 25–27]—my own priorities since taking office have been firmly towards rural and agricultural development. The recent Commonwealth Conference on Rural Development showed that Ministers present shared my view. I therefore intend to intensify our efforts in these directions and am taking the necessary steps to this end. As I informed the House on 7th April—[Vol. 889, c. 817]—I have set up a Rural Development Department in the Ministry.