Voluntary Service Overseas

Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th December 1983.

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Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Battersea 12:00 am, 5th December 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to him, or to British embassies, concerning the work and activities of Voluntary Service Overseas volunteers.

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

I have received no representations from overseas Governments, although discussions about the programme are held with them from time to time by me and by our embassies. I receive a good many letters from supporters of the programme in this country.

Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Battersea

Will the Minister explain why Belinda Coote, who was a Voluntary Service Overseas volunteer in Mindanao in the Philippines until August this year, was pressurised by the British embassy in Manilla, and why the British embassy brought pressure to bear on VSO so that she should not have her stay in the Philippines extended?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

I understand that we put no pressure on VSO to dismiss Miss Coote.