United Nations Fund for Population Activities

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th March 1972.

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Photo of Mr Jack Dormand Mr Jack Dormand , Easington 12:00 am, 27th March 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has for further assistance to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities.

Photo of Hon. Richard Wood Hon. Richard Wood , Bridlington

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave on 13th March to a Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Dame Joan Vickers).—[Vol. 833, c. 22–3.]

Photo of Mr Jack Dormand Mr Jack Dormand , Easington

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?

Photo of Hon. Richard Wood Hon. Richard Wood , Bridlington

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.

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

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?

Photo of Hon. Richard Wood Hon. Richard Wood , Bridlington

I entirely share the hon. Gentleman's wish. I want to see this money used practically as far as possible and for the kind of objectives which he has in mind.