I am replying to the two Questions put down by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dorset, West (Mr. Wingfield Digby) as they were put down before the division of responsibilities between the Commonwealth Relations Office and Ministry of Overseas Development was settled. It may be helpful to the House if I mention that in future such questions, relating essentially to British economic aid, will be answered by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Overseas Development.
Southern Rhodesia sought no financial assistance from the British Government for many years after 1923. During the Federal decade education in Southern Rhodesia benefited from the allocations of £2,875,000 of Colonial Development and Welfare funds to the University College in Salisbury which was a Federal responsibility. In 1962 a loan of £355,000 was made to the Southern Rhodesian Government for African education and this year a grant of £1,850,000 has been announced for the University College and Teaching Hospital.
Have the Government in mind any further assistance for education in Rhodesia, particularly for secondary education, and, if they have, will there be any political conditions attached to such help?
Future assistance is a matter for consideration between the two Governments. Of the sum I mentioned towards the teaching hospital, £280,000 has been paid and the balance will be paid as instalments fall due over the next two years. As to political considerations, aid to Southern Rhodesia will continue provided no unconstitutional action is taken.
While being grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the first part of the Answer clarifying the procedure in answering Questions, may I ask whether he could say to what extent the prime responsibility for deciding whether or not to give aid to a country will rest with his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations or whether that responsibility has been completely passed to the Ministry for Overseas Development?
Because that was not very clear, I was asking a supplementary question having regard to the way Questions have been transferred. Such Questions, and this one which was not transferred, were all put down since the statement was made, and it seemed to be not very clear.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the work which is being done for African housing, particularly for home ownership, and will he take an early opportunity of going there to see it for himself?