Expressed in terms of money the United Kingdom is the third largest donor of bilateral technical assistance after the United States and France, and is the second largest contributor to the United Nations Voluntary Programmes.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that whilst we all recognise that there is still ample scope for giving help in these matters, it is encouraging to know that this country is doing so well? Could he indicate how we stand in terms of sending experts overseas and students coming into this country?
Genuine international comparisons are difficult, but in sending experts overseas we are probably second only to France. In the matter of receiving students in this country, certainly in relation to our size, we are second to no one.
asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation, what action he takes to co-ordinate the technical assistance provided by his Department with the financial aid provided by Great Britain and with the aid programmes of other Commonwealth countries.
A continuous exchange of information takes place between my Department and the overseas departments regarding proposals for financial and technical assistance so that where appropriate they can be offered in conjunction. Co-ordination with the aid programmes of other Commonwealth countries is principally carried out by exchange of information between Commonwealth ambassadors and High Commissioners in overseas capitals.
While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, reverting to the interesting proposals at the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference for development projects in individual Commonwealth countries, may I ask whether he is satisfied that his Department alone is responsible for the immense amount of co-ordination which will be necessary to carry this proposal to a successful conclusion?
The machinery required for the development of these Commonwealth projects is also under discussion on a Commonwealth basis, and I am sure that what my hon. Friend has said will be taken into account.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that when a group of Canadian teachers were in London a week or so ago on their way to various countries in Africa under a vacation course scheme similar to the one which we run, the hon. Lady the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Miss Vickers) and I could find no official arrangements for them here and no arrangements to coordinate the Canadian scheme with our own scheme? Will the right hon. Gentleman look into that matter?