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Overseas Aid To Underdeveloped Countries

Volume 645: debated on Tuesday 25 July 1961

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Assistance to underdeveloped countries from United Kingdom Government funds has risen steadily from some £80 million in 1957–58 to £150 million in 1960, and disbursements are expected to increase still further this year to about £180 million. Most of these disbursements are being made under commitments to other Governments and to international organisations, and these commitments will be honoured. I am bound, however, to take steps to contain the increase and to see it does not rise much above the present level. There is no question of cutting back, but even to sustain this level is a considerable challenge. It will not be easy. The figure of £180 million compares, I say again, with a figure of £80 million in 1957–58 when our balance of payments was better.