HC Deb 07 April 1976 vol 909 cc181-2W
Mr. George Gardiner

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the projected cost to public funds of sending a British delegation of 21 persons to the United Nations World Conference on Human Settlements in Vancouver from 31st May to 11th June; what benefit he expects the United Kingdom to gain from their attendance; and by what number the size of the delegation was decreased owing to present economic circumstances.

Mr. Crosland

A cost limit of £50,000 for attendance at the "Habitat" Conference and related expenditure has been agreed with the Civil Service Department.

The opportunity to take part in "Habitat" will enable this country, as a United Nations member nation, to offer other participating countries the benefit of our own considerable experience. We will also have the chance to learn in detail of their experiences of finding solutions to the human settlement problems we still need to resolve.

The present economic climate has led me to reduce my officials' original suggestions on the size of the group which will go to Vancouver to 30. This figure includes two Ministers; one member of the Opposition; 20 other delegates including non-government delegates; and seven supporting staff. This compares with a group of 53 which went to the similar United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972.