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Volume 929: debated on Monday 28 March 1977

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asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether she has received a request to meet Paraguayan Government officials now in London.

Should my right hon. Friend be asked to meet the Paraguayan Minister of Agriculture, who is presently in this country, will she make it clear to him that British aid to Paraguay cannot be extended except on an equal basis not merely for the Government but also for local co-operatives in that country? Will she also convey to him the detestation we have here of the present level of political repression under the Stroessner dictatorship?

Having made some inquiries following my hon. Friend's Question, I understand that Senor Bertoni is leaving today. The small technical co-operation programme which we have in Paraguay amounts to about £140,000 and is concentrated almost exclusively on help to small cultivators and livestock farmers. I certainly take my hon. Friend's point and shall bear it very much in mind.