asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies on what basis decisions are taken in regard to extra financial aid to Commonwealth and Colonial Territories, as in the recent cases of Malaya and Cyprus; and to what extent his Department is consulted.
The decisions are taken in the light of all relevant circumstances, including especially financial need, after consultation with the Government of the territory concerned. There is full interdepartmental consultation My Department takes the initiative in regard to territories for which it is responsible.
Is it not a fact that, in the main, financial aid of this kind is based on defence rather than on other matters? For example, would not the right hon. Gentleman regard the present economic situation in the West Indies as being a case where extra financial aid should be provided, in addition to grants from C.D.C. and C.D. & W. funds in the usual way?
No. Certainly, in apportioning C.D. & W. money, we do not take defence considerations into account, and the very large sums of money that are given to territories that have not at present any defence importance is an indication of that. I am fully conscious of the value of extending C.D. & W. grants in the West Indies, and that is being taken care of by the enlarged allocation for the forthcoming period.