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United Nations Agencies

Volume 656: debated on Tuesday 27 March 1962

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asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation what arrangements exist for consultation between his Department and other Departments about the United Kingdom's policy towards United Nations agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation; and to what extent his department is responsible for policy decisions relating to these agencies.

My Department keeps in close touch with other Departments about the technical assistance activities and programmes of the United Nations and the Specialised Agencies. Policy decisions are arrived at through the normal method of inter-departmental consultation.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that when I raised the question of the world food programme recently it was dealt with at Question Time by the Minister of Agriculture, and when I raised it on the Adjournment it was put down first as a Treasury subject and then transferred to the Foreign Office? Does not all this transferring of subjects mean that the right hon. Gentle man's responsibility in these matters is not properly carried out and that the dead hand of the Treasury is much too powerful?

No, I do not think so. I read the hon. Gentleman's speech about this subject on the Adjournment Motion. There is very close consultation between the Departments concerned, and I have no reason to believe that the correct decisions are not reached.