Oral Answers to Questions — United Nations Special Fund

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1959.

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Photo of Mr Hilary Marquand Mr Hilary Marquand , Middlesbrough East 12:00 am, 20th July 1959

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the estimated total contribution so far approved by the United Nations Special Fund towards the cost of survey and training projects in Commonwealth countries.

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Oswestry

The Governing Council of the United Nations Special Fund has so far approved a total expenditure of $1,165,000 for projects in Commonwealth countries.

Photo of Mr Hilary Marquand Mr Hilary Marquand , Middlesbrough East

Will not the right hon. Gentleman agree that this decision by the Special Fund is very welcome indeed, and does it not indicate that there exist in the Commonwealth worthwhile projects which cannot be adequately financed by the Colombo Plan and other forms of Commonwealth aid?

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Oswestry

Yes, I think that is true.

Photo of Mr Hilary Marquand Mr Hilary Marquand , Middlesbrough East

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what contribution Her Majesty's Government have undertaken to make during the financial year 1959 to the United Nations Special Fund; and what contributions have been pledged by Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden, respectively.

Mrs. White:

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply has been made to Mr. Hoffman's request for an additional contribution to the United Nations Special Fund

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Oswestry

For the financial year 1959 Her Majesty's Government pledged $1 million to the Special Fund. Canada pledged $2 million, the Netherlands just over $2·4 million and Sweden $21 million. However, I can tell the House that the United Kingdom contribution to the Fund for 1960 will show a substantial increase over the $1 million pledged for 1959.

Photo of Mr Hilary Marquand Mr Hilary Marquand , Middlesbrough East

In view of the substantial grants already made by the Special Fund to Commonwealth countries, as indicated in the right hon. Gentleman's Answer to my last Question, and in view of the admission he has made that there are many worth-while projects to be financed in Commonwealth countries, and in view of the further fact that the United States has promised to match contributions made by other countries by contributions by herself, would it not now be wise greatly to increase the United Kingdom's contribution to the Special Fund?

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Oswestry

If the right hon. Gentleman had been listening to me he would have heard that I said that next year's subscription was to be substantially increased over 1959.

Photo of Mr Hilary Marquand Mr Hilary Marquand , Middlesbrough East

Can we take it from that Answer that it will at least be equal to what Canada, Sweden and other countries have contributed?

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Oswestry

The precise figure has not yet been decided, but I can tell the right hon. Gentleman that it will be substantially increased.

Mrs. White:

Yes, but surely the right hon. Gentleman will agree that, whatever promise of reform there may be for the future, for this year, 1959, in which we are told on the highest authority that we have never had it so good, our contribution is derisory measured by the benefits we receive and the contributions made by other countries?

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Oswestry

Some of those other countries do not have anything like the demands on their resources that we have on ours in this country.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

When my right hon. Friend says that our contribution is to be made in dollars, does he mean in the equivalent of dollars? Secondly, is this Fund conducted without excessive administrative expense?

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Oswestry

I think the Fund is conducted in a most admirable manner. The term "dollars" is used because that is the denomination in which everybody's contribution is normally announced. Of course, quite a lot of this expenditure may well be in sterling.