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Emergency Force (Finance)

Oral Answers to Questions — United Nations – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd July 1957.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Rowley Regis and Tipton 12:00 am, 3rd July 1957

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what further contribution is to be made by Her Majesty's Government towards the remaining United Nations Emergency Force costs for 1957.

Photo of Mr Henry Usborne Mr Henry Usborne , Birmingham, Yardley

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what instructions have been given to Her Majesty's Government's delegate at the United Nations in respect of finance for the support of the United Nations Emergency Force.

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

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.

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Rowley Regis and Tipton

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?

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

Yes, it is certainly the policy of Her Majesty's Government that the Force should stay in the area as long as it is thought necessary. I think we do pay our fair share.

Photo of Mr Henry Usborne Mr Henry Usborne , Birmingham, Yardley

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?

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

The Secretary-General has not so far published any accounts of other contributions received.

Photo of Sir Beresford Craddock Sir Beresford Craddock , Spelthorne

Will my fight hon. and gallant Friend tell us how the payments in dollars are made? Does it mean the purchase of dollars? How are these transactions carried out?

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

These sums ate always quoted in dollars, but in fact we pay part in sterling.

Photo of Mr Frank Beswick Mr Frank Beswick , Uxbridge

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?

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

The hon. Member is quite right. Part of our contribution is for goods and services supplied by the War Office and the Air Ministry. I will certainly consider the point that he has just made.

Mr. T. Williams:

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say whether any nation, and if so which, has refused to make a contribution towards this Emergency Force?

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

No, Sir. I have not that information.

Photo of Mr Henry Usborne Mr Henry Usborne , Birmingham, Yardley

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will propose that the cost of maintaining the United Nations Emergency Force should be incorporated in the normal United Nations Budget.

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

No, Sir. Her Majesty's Government regard the special fund set up by the General Assembly to meet expenditure on the United Nations Emergency Force as the proper source of money for this purpose.

We have, however, consistently maintained that the fund should be financed by assessed contributions from all members of the United Nations.

Photo of Mr Henry Usborne Mr Henry Usborne , Birmingham, Yardley

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?

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

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.

Photo of Mr Henry Usborne Mr Henry Usborne , Birmingham, Yardley

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?

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

If the hon. Gentleman wants that information, perhaps he will put down a Question.