asked the Under-Secretary of State for Burma if, in view of the fact that the Constituent Assembly of Burma has adopted a resolution severing Burma's connection with the British Commonwealth, it is proposed to discontinue any further payments from British funds for the rehabilitation of Burma.
No, Sir. It is not proposed to discontinue the financial assistance already promised in regard to the present Burma financial year, which ends on 30th September.
Is the Minister satisfied that the money which is being advanced from the British taxpayer is being used for the purpose of reconstruction in the country, and will he say what conceivable justification there is for asking the British taxpayer to pour out money into a country which has announced its intention of leaving the British Commonwealth?
In regard to the first part of the question, I think we may take it that the Government of Burma have not misappropriated or wrongly expended any advances which have been made by this country. In regard to the second part, I am quite sure that the House would not expect His Majesty's Government to initiate any policy in the nature of a sanction merely because the Constituent Assembly have passed a resolution which it is quite within their competence to do.
Would the Minister give an assurance that there will be no payment after 30th September to countries outside the British Commonwealth?
It is quite impossible for me at this stage to commit His Majesty's Government either one way or the other with regard to that matter.