Falkland Islands

Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th October 1983.

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Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes , Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley 12:00 am, 24th October 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much of the Overseas Development Administration budget for 1983–84 and 1984–85 is applicable to expenditure in the Falkland islands.

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

It would be premature to give precise forecasts of expenditure in the Falkland islands in 1983–84 and 1984–85, since details of activities to be supported have not yet been finalised. But I expect the balance of the rehabilitation grant of £15 million to be spent in the current year and a substantial proportion of the £31 million development grant in the next two or three years. Estimated expenditure in 1983–84 to dare is approximately £3 million.

Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes , Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley

How does the Minister justify the misappropriation of large parts of the development budget to the Falkland islands, while, at the same time, the Government are cutting British aid to some of the poorest countries in the world where people are starving to death?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

It is quite untrue to talk about misappropriation of my programme to help the Falkland islands. They are among our dependencies, to whom we have a prior obligation anyway, and events last year will undoubtedly have reinforced that in the minds of the overwhelming majority in this country.

Photo of Mr John Townend Mr John Townend , Bridlington

Does my right hon. Friend agree that there is much greater public support in this country for aid to the Falkland islands than there is for continued aid to Zimbabwe, where air force officers acquitted by the courts are still imprisoned?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

I do not intend to draw such a comparison, but I reiterate that aid to the Falklands is justified and necessary.