We can identify at least £11 million in the last three years from grants or loans. There are further cases which cannot be readily identified where, for example, the aid was given for budgetary support.
In view of the fact that some of the most desperate needs of India, and for that matter Indonesia, relate to transport, and while acknowledging that the flexible form of aid to which my hon. Friend referred in certain cases is a valid argument, would he give special consideration to the possibility of giving aid from the motor industry?
We have this point very much in mind, but I am sure my hon. Friend appreciates that it is not always an easy matter to match needs with surplus supplies in this country. It is quite a long process between receiving orders from overseas and matching them here, and it is not easy quickly to switch.
The Ministry tries to take account of surplus capacity when planning aid, but, as my right hon. Friend's predecessor informed the House on 8th February in reply to a Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton), [Vol. 724, c. 180–81.] it is not usually practicable to relate credits specifically to surplus capacity.
Would my hon. Friend bear in mind the action, to his credit, of the right hon. Member for Barnet (Mr. Maudling) in this matter in 1963? Are we clear that there can be a link between tied aid and under-utilised capacity here? Does he accept the proposition that it may not be a question of tied aid or free aid, which is obviously the more desirable, but aid in the form of products which might come from under-used capacity in this country, or no aid at all?
On the general question of tied aid, a great deal of it is necessarily tied because this is the way in which comparable donors operate. We have tried to bring to their attention the desirability of untying a good deal of it, but this is a matter on which international action is required.