Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
As my hon. Friend informed the House on 15th April, the Secretary-General of the United Nations has been empowered to spend on the United Nations Emergency Force up to the end of 1957, 10 million dollars to be raised by assessed contributions from Member States and a further 6½ million dollars to be raised by voluntary contributions. Her Majesty's Government propose to contribute their assessed share, 7·81 per cent., of the first 10 million dollars and a corresponding proportion of the supplementary 62 million dollars, a total of 1,288,650 dollars. The United Kingdom Permanent Representative at the United Nations has informed the Secretary-General accordingly.
Is the policy of the Government that the United Nations Emergency Force should be retained on the borders of Israel and Egypt so long as there is a danger of conflicting interests, and, if so, will they be willing to contribute their fair share of the costs of the Force so long as it is considered necessary to retain it?
In view of the fact that the Americans have offered to pay 50 per cent. of the 6½ million dollars required, provided that the other nations together raise the other half, will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman tell us what prospects there are of that other half being subscribed?
Is not it a fact that part of our liability for the Emergency Force is for equipment supplied by the United Kingdom? Would it not be possible for the United Kingdom, in these special circumstances, to make equipment available without payment, to try to tide the Force over this rather difficult period?
We have, however, consistently maintained that the fund should be financed by assessed contributions from all members of the United Nations.
As it is estimated that for next year, 1958, the cost of keeping the U.N.E.F. going will be in the neighbourhood of 25 million dollars, and in view of the fact that the Soviet Union has apparently said already that it will not pay a cent of that, and that we are already short on last year's payments, how does the Minister of State imagine that this money, without which the U.N.E.F. cannot survive, will be found —or is he not so very anxious that the money shall be found?
I must say that I rather resent the implication in the last part of that supplementary question. I have said already that the United Nations Emergency Force has the full support of Her Majesty's Government, and we have said so all along; but the United Nations Emergency Force, as its name implies, was set up to deal with an emergency situation, and we think that the present way of funding it is the best. No doubt the Secretary-General himself will produce further suggestions if the money is not available.
Perhaps, then, the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will tell the House at what time the British Government announced they would pay their share of the 6½ million dollars which was required, of which the Americans offered to pay half, and many of us were informed that no offer was made by Britain then?