Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the £550,000 proposed for 1972–73 is a reduction of almost one-third of the £750,000 which was agreed for 1971–72? Is this not a disgraceful decision on the part of a Government which pretends to be interested in the problems of increasing population? Is the Minister further aware that Resolution 2815 of the United Nations of December last year invited those Governments which could do so to increase their contribution on a voluntary basis? Would it not be better, following that, for the Government to be increasing rather than decreasing their contribution?
I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it might be regrettable if the amount had been reduced, but I have announced that it will be £850,000 next year as against £750,000 this year.
While warmly welcoming the fact that the British contribution is to be increased, may I urge the Minister to use his influence to ensure that the money is spent not on the production of more and more learned reports from more and more conferences on the subject but upon the implementation of practical programmes, particularly in the rural areas of developing countries?