Clause 3

Part of Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 9th March 2010.

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Photo of Michael Connarty Michael Connarty Chair, European Scrutiny Committee, Chair, European Scrutiny Committee 10:30 am, 9th March 2010

Not at the moment. I do not mind if the hon. Gentleman wants to make comments, but I do not want to take too much time.

The hon. Member for South-West Hertfordshire put the problem down to bad management by Governments, but let us be frank: having talked to people who are concerned about this issue, I have always felt that it is 200 years of exploitation by the developed world that has reduced most of these countries to their level of indebtedness. We have exploited their resources, and at one point stole their people to use them as slaves. Let us not kid ourselves—most of their indebtedness has arisen because we have taken their wealth and given them nothing in return. We are not just being generous; we are also dealing with our own conscience.