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Dried Milk Supplies

Volume 650: debated on Thursday 30 November 1961

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39.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make further arrangements to supply British dried milk as a contribution to the relief of those countries for which Her Majesty's Government are responsible whose people are suffering from malnutrition.

Her Majesty's Government help with the costs of transporting dried milk from the U.S.A. and Canada whose surplus production makes inexpensive supplies readily available and of distributing them in any affected Colony. To meet current emergencies we have arranged to deliver the Milk Marketing Board's generous gifts of 200 tons of dried milk to Kenya and of 50 tons to British Honduras.

The Under-Secretary will probably be aware that originally I put down this Question to the Department of Technical Co-operation. Can the hon. Gentleman say whether he has had discussions with the Department and when the Department will be in a position to tell us how it is dealing with its responsibilities in the colonial and other territories?

I have had discussions, and it is a question of what schemes are immediately available. One is the UNICEF scheme, and there are other special schemes to be applied to individual Colonial Territories.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Government have refused to make a financial contribution towards the cost of distributing supplies of dried milk and maize from the United States in Tanganyika; and how does he reconcile that with his reply today?

May I remind the hon. Lady that we are spending £800,000 on immediate relief in Honduras and several hundred thousands of pounds on relief in Kenya; that we have just met an emergency request from the Somali Republic to send aircraft to help them, and that these are problems which must be considered in view of the various financial settlements which we have made with the countries concerned.