asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations by how much it is now estimated that actual expenditure on the Technical Co-operation Scheme for South and South East Asia will fall short of the amount included in the estimates of his Department for 1951–52; and what are the reasons for this shortfall, and the items included in it.
The original Estimate of United Kingdom expenditure for 1951–52 was £500,000, but at the time this was made, there were no means of knowing how the scheme would develop. Largely because of operative difficulties inherent in starting a new international scheme of this kind, progress has been slow and the Estimate was reduced to £54,300, the excess being surrendered in the recent Supplementary Estimate. The reduced Estimate has proved to be still on the high side and actual expenditure in 1951–52 will be approximately £24,000.Technical assistance is given in response to requests made by the Governments in South and South East Asia themselves, and the shortfall in expenditure does not arise as the result of the exclusion of any items. Requests for assistance in this field involving a higher degree of expenditure are expected in 1952–53.