Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th April 1983.

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Photo of Mr Greville Janner Mr Greville Janner , Leicester West 12:00 am, 25th April 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is satisfied with current methods of planning the levels of aid to developing countries.

Photo of Mr Greville Janner Mr Greville Janner , Leicester West

I welcome that helpful reply. Does the Minister take into account when considering the planning of aid to developing countries such as Uganda the way in which they treat British citizens? For example, when the Minister considers, as I hope very much he will, the continuation and increase of aid to Uganda, will he take every opportunity to press the Ugandan Government to be generous in compensating those who were deprived of their property in Uganda by the Amin Government, including very many of my constituents, and to reconsider the need to extend the time for applications for such compensation?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

Compensation is really a matter for the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow). However, there is no doubt that any help that we can give to strengthen the Ugandan economy will make it easier for the Ugandan Government to meet compensation claims.

Photo of Mr Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler Mr Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler , North West Norfolk

Is the Minister prepared to look again at the proposed contribution to IDA 7? Does he recognise the importance of Britain giving a strong lead in expanding that fund? Will he bear in mind the discounted cost of an increased contribution over 10 years? Does he recognise the considerable trade benefits accruing to the United Kingdom if that fund is extended?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

We recognise the great importance of IDA. We also recognise that British commercial interests get a very good return from money spent on IDA. The size of IDA 7 has not yet been settled, but obviously we shall be thinking about it carefully.

Photo of Mr Richard Page Mr Richard Page , South West Hertfordshire

In considering that extra planning, is my right hon. Friend prepared to give even greater publicity to the splendid work that we already do in the way of overseas aid?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

I am grateful for what my hon. Friend said about our aid programme. I hope that both he and I will seize every opportunity to make the country realise that we do extremely well in this important area.

Photo of Mr Eric Deakins Mr Eric Deakins , Waltham Forest Walthamstow

In view of the grossly disproportionate amount of British aid to the Falkland Islands, would not it be better if such sums came off the defence budget, since that is what basically it is all about?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

The hon. Gentleman has it wrong. The sums that I talked about are the development programme and the rehabilitation programme, both of which are administered by my Department. The spending in the Falkland Islands on development is justified in its own terms and is important for the confidence of the islanders.