HC Deb 22 November 1979 vol 974 cc274-5W
Mr. Peter Bottomley

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will list his Department's responsibilities relating to children and the statutes from which these arise showing which branch or division within his Department and which Minister deals with each of these responsibilities; who is responsible for co-ordinating the various responsibilities relating to children within his Department; and who is responsible for co-ordinating his responsibilities for children with those of other Departments.

Mr. Hurd

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has no statutory responsibilities relating specifically to children. However, the Overseas Development Administration is concerned with the welfare of children in developing countries under its responsibilities for the overseas aid programme, which assists economic and social development generally and specifically medical services—especially mother and child health programmes—food production and education. The Minister immediately responsible is my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister for Overseas Development. The United Kingdom provides financial support to a number of organisations relating to children, including the United Nations Children's Fund, the Save the Children Fund, the Institute of Child Health at the University of London, and the Department of Child Health at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. These non-statutory responsibilities are handled by three departments co-ordinated by the bilateral aid and rural development department, which is responsible for aid policy in relation to social development. The chief medical and health services adviser to the Overseas Development Administration is also head of the international health division of the Department of Health and Social Security, and is responsible for liaison on health matters between the two Departments. Similarly, the chief education adviser is in contact with professional colleagues in the Department of Education and Science, particularly in relation to sources of teaching and other educational skills for deployment in overseas countries under the aid programme.