European Volunteer Programme

Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th June 1969.

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Photo of Mr Geoffrey De Freitas Mr Geoffrey De Freitas , Kettering 12:00 am, 30th June 1969

asked the Minister of Overseas Development if he will consult member and applicant States of the European Economic Community on the development of a multi-national European programme of technical assistance by young people in the developing countries.

Photo of Mr Albert Oram Mr Albert Oram , East Ham South

I would refer my right hon. Friend to the Reply given to a similar Question from the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths) on the 19th June.—[Vol. 785 c. 147.]

Photo of Mr Geoffrey De Freitas Mr Geoffrey De Freitas , Kettering

Since this country has so much more experience in this field—through V.S.O., for example—than any other country, will not my hon. Friend do what he can to offer that experience to our neighbouring countries in Western Europe?

Photo of Mr Albert Oram Mr Albert Oram , East Ham South

I certainly have a good deal of sympathy with the idea of international programmes of service for young people, but my right hon. Friend will, I am sure, be aware that there is no scheme in Europe similar to that indicated in his Question. As to the future, my right hon. Friend should know that the United Nations is initiating a discussion about the feasibility of a United Nations volunteer programme. This will shortly be discussed at E.C.O.S.O.C. and I would prefer to know the outcome of that discussion before embarking on my right hon. Friend's European idea.

Photo of Mr Norman St John-Stevas Mr Norman St John-Stevas , Chelmsford

Does the Minister have plans to encourage employers and trade unons at home to co-operate in the national scheme?

Photo of Mr Albert Oram Mr Albert Oram , East Ham South

Indeed. We are constantly in touch with both trade unions and employers. During last year I had meetings representative of both sides at the Ministry and had a good deal of helpful discussion with them.