asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether she will make a statement on the creation of the European Development Fund as it affects the United Kingdom.
The new European Development Fund, on which agreement was reached in Brussels last week, will total 3,140 million units of account, or approximately £1,600 million at current rates of exchange. France and Germany will each contribute 25·95 per cent. and the United Kingdom 18·7 per cent. or about £300 million. This money will be committed over a five-year period, but disbursements will take longer than this. As a result of our participation British firms will be eligible to tender for supply and works contracts and consultancy work arising from the fund's operations.