asked the Minister of Labour if he will now review the decision of Her Majesty's Government not to make a donation to the Endowment Fund of the Institute of Labour Studies in Geneva, in view of the donations made by other countries since that decision was made; and if he will make a statement.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the latest report of the Institute shows that 43 other Governments now make a donation to the Endowment Fund, in addition to paying their assessed share of the regular budget? This includes not only relatively prosperous countries like France and West Germany, but many poor countries from Asia and Africa. In these circumstances, should not the British Government reconsider their attitude, bearing in mind that a number of the participants in this scheme are from the Commonwealth, including territories for which we still have a responsibility?
I have looked at this. It is true, as the hon. Gentleman says, that these other countries have contributed. On the other hand, neither the United States nor the Soviet Union have done so. We have felt that it was right to continue to contribute through the regular budget. It is not without relevance that our share of the regular budget of the International Labour Office is higher than our share of any other specialised agency. In other words, it is between 9 per cent. and 10 per cent., whereas it has been between 7 per cent. and 8 per cent. of the budget of the other United Nations agencies.