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Ussr (Cultural Exchanges)

Volume 654: debated on Wednesday 21 February 1962

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asked the Lord Privy Seal what plans he has for a further development of exchanges of teachers, students and other young people between this country and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The present exchanges are taking place under the current two-year Anglo-Soviet Cultural Agreement. We hope to be in a position to negotiate a further agreement when the present one expires at the end of this year.

Would the hon. Gentleman agree that these exchanges have proved their value and that so far there has been no evidence that a single one of these hundreds of young people has come under Communist influence as a result of these exchanges? Will he now invite the national youth organisations to join in this work outside the programme on their own initiative?

I certainly agree that the programme has been valuable so far. As I have indicated, I hope that we shall be able to continue it. As for the suggestion for matters outside the programme, I should like to look at that to see what is practicable.