Blankets

Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st March 1983.

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Photo of Mr David Ginsburg Mr David Ginsburg , Dewsbury 12:00 am, 21st March 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what number and value of blankets were bought for the overseas aid programme in the last year; and what are his plans for forthcoming years.

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

Since August 1981 over 40,000 blankets costing about £150,000 have been bought from British aid funds for disaster victims.

In addition, our cash donations to various disaster appeals will have been used in some cases to buy blankets. We have also supplied some blankets within other aid projects, but no central record is kept on these.

I shall continue to supply blankets whenever this is a useful part of our disaster relief work.

Photo of Mr David Ginsburg Mr David Ginsburg , Dewsbury

I am pleased to hear that news, even though it is not complete. Is the Minister aware that Dewsbury makes excellent blankets and that there are many more available to enable the Government to fulfil the requirements of the disaster programme?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

I note the hon. Gentleman's plug for his constituency.

Photo of Mr Anthony Beaumont-Dark Mr Anthony Beaumont-Dark , Birmingham, Selly Oak

I am sure that my right hon. Friend is aware of the tragedy that is enveloping Ethiopia once again. Will he assure the House that it is much upon this country's conscience to do what it can to help? If this country and other relatively prosperous countries do not help, hundreds of thousands of people will starve yet again.

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

I am well aware of what has been happening there. On Friday I announced that we were supplying £250,000 for relief.