Oral Answers to Questions — Aid

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd May 1976.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Prentice Mr Reginald Prentice , Newham North East 12:00 am, 3rd May 1976

I agree that more priority should be given to rural development. That was one of the cardinal points of the White Paper published a few months ago. I am disappointed with the progress made on the volume of aid under both Governments over the last 12 years. The percentage of the gross national product devoted to aid has declined from 0·52 per cent. to 0·38 per cent. On the other hand, the House should recognise and acknowledge that, against the background of having to make very severe cuts in public expenditure, the overseas aid programme was practically the only programme not affected by those cuts.