asked the Minister of Health if he will make a statement on the progress of the malaria eradication campaign which is being conducted by the World Health Organisation; and what has been the effect of transferring the costs of the campaign to the regular budget of the Organisation; and whether this transfer has caused the United Kingdom Government to make a higher contribution to the budget.
The Organisation's budget for 1963, of which Her Majesty's Government will bear their due share, has been increased by the inclusion of $4 million towards the field costs of the campaign, which is expected to achieve considerable progress this year.
Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that, between now and 1964—the transitional period—at least part of the cost of the campaign will be borne by the special fund to which the British Government refuse to contribute? Can he assure us that none of this vital work will be held up during the interim period because of lack of funds?
Yes, Sir. The hon. Gentleman is aware of the decision of the World Health Organisation to transfer this work to the General Budget. Her Majesty's Government have always thought that that was the right decision, and the result will be that we shall bear, with other nations, our fair and full share of the cost of this work.
Can the right hon. Gentleman precisely answer my question? I asked for an assurance that, between now and 1964—when the regular budget takes over the whole cost—the field work will not be held up through lack of funds.
It need not necessarily be held up. It is the policy of the W.H.O. that this work should be transferred to the general budget. The result of that will be that we shall be contributing to it as and when it is so transferred.