Under-Developed Countries (Aid)

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 Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Worcestershire South 12:00 am, 27th March 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total United Kingdom aid to overseas under-developed countries in 1971–72 represents as the percentage of gross national product of the United Kingdom; and how much of such aid is food, given as food and not money to buy food by the recipient country.

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

The latest available percentage was 0·37 of gross national product in the calendar year 1970. Food worth £2·78 million has been provided during the present financial year.

Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Worcestershire South

Are there additional opportunities for British farmers to export temperate foodstuffs to underdeveloped countries, not in the form of financial aid but as food? Is my right hon. Friend inclined to encourage a policy of that kind to stimulate still further the expansion of British agriculture?

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

Britain is a net importer of food Therefore, the more food we send as aid in this precise form, the more food we should subsequently have to import for our population.

Photo of Mr David Lane Mr David Lane , Cambridge

Is it not a fact that, on the latest forecasts, total British aid over the next few years is likely to increase at a faster rate than the rate of increase in our gross national product as a whole?

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

It is true that the increase planned in the aid programme represents one of the fastest expansions of any Government programme in this country.