European Community Council of Ministers

Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st February 1977.

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Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South 12:00 am, 21st February 1977

asked the Minister of Overseas Development when he next expects to attend a meeting of the Council of Ministers of the EEC.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth North

I plan to attend and preside at the meeting of Development Ministers provisionally arranged for 22nd March.

Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South

When my hon. Friend meets the Development Ministers on 22nd March, will he draw to their attention the intense disappointment in this country that only £10 million of EEC aid will go to the non-associable South-East Asian members of the Commonwealth and others? Will he tell them that at the time of the referendum there was great pressure on the public because it was said that the EEC would be able to help these countries more? Will he tell them that we are disappointed and we look for better things?

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth North

My hon. Friend will be glad to know that it is now proposed to allocae 45 million units of account for non-associates. But I certainly share his misgivings about the failure of us all within the Community to respond as fully as we might to the needs of non-associates. This remains a high priority in British policy.

Photo of Mr Nigel Forman Mr Nigel Forman , Sutton Carshalton

Since the United Kingdom Government occupy the chair of the EEC for the current six months, is the hon. Gentleman intending to raise with the American Administration some of their ideas to increase the trade flow between the Community and the developed world and the developing countries to the mutual benefit of both sides?

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth North

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that in our policy towards development as a whole we always pay high priority to a close dialogue and discussion with our American colleagues.