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Financial Assistance

Volume 645: debated on Tuesday 25 July 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will now make a statement about economic aid to be provided to Tanganyika after independence; and how far this will help the government of that territory to fulfil its development plans for the period 1961 to 1964.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what grants or loans are being made to Tanganyika to assist with her three-year development plan.

I have been able to put improved proposals by Her Majesty's Government for continuing financial assistance after independence to the Prime Minister of Tanganyika. But as these are being considered by the Tanganyika Government I am not yet in a position to give details.

When does the Secretary of State expect to inform the House about this? Are we not being kept waiting a very long time? Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the Press statement made by Mr. Julius Nyerere, one of the ablest and most friendly Prime Ministers towards this country in Africa? Has he not seen the expression of regret and despair made, too, by Mr. Julius Nyerere? Can the Secretary of State offer any hope that the proposals of which Mr. Nyerere was then speaking will be modified before he makes his next statement?

I have made it clear that I have put forward improved proposals. For myself, I would be quite ready to give details of them, but the Prime Minister of Tanganyika prefers not to do so at this stage and, of course, I agree with him. I will, however, make as full a statement on this matter as I can in the debate which we are to have later today.

Is it not a fact that Tanganyika was promised generous aid for its £24 million development plan? Will my right hon. Friend look again at the possibility of concentrating British aid in the earlier years of the plan and forming a consortium with the United States and West Germany to finance the later stages of the plan?

Yes, Sir, those two latter points are very much in my mind. Indeed, it is, perhaps, rather the phasing than the amount of the assistance we give that creates the more difficulty.

Does the Secretary of State mean that his proposals which he has been putting to the Prime Minister of Tanganyika are the Government's final word, or does he mean that after the Tanganyika Government have considered them, he will be prepared to continue negotiations with them?

Of course, we should be very glad to look again if Mr. Nyerere came back to us with new suggestions. In any event, we have said that we would study the development and the phasing of these loans and grants after a reasonable interval.

It could do. The matter that affects Tanganyika most, however, is how she will be able to go ahead with her three-year development plan. Therefore, as the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate, it is not only the amount of the loans and so on that one gives, but the phasing of them in the early years, that is important.