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Telecommunications Development

Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the Government have completed their initial consideration of the report of the Independent Commission for World-Wide Telecommunications Development; and if he will make a statement.

Yes. The Government have, in consultation with other interested parties, completed their initial review of the commission's report and I have written to the secretary-general of the International Telecommunications Union with our comments. Points included in my letter are:

  • —we endorse the Commission's general approach and support many of its recommendations;
  • —we already provide substantial financial and technical development assistance for telecommunications under bilateral and multilateral aid programmes;
  • —individual developing countries will wish to consider the weight to be given to telecommunications development in the light of their particular priorities; we are ready to review with recipient countries the relative priority for telecommunications under our aid programmes;
  • —we support the concept, outlined in the report, for a Centre for Telecommunications Development but this proposal must be further developed before finance is sought from the private sector.
  • I have arranged for a copy of the commission's report and of my letter to the secretary-general to be placed in the Library of the House.