HC Deb 15 February 1962 vol 653 c1502
24. Mr. Healey

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, if he will give details of the economic assistance to Basutoland during the current financial year; and what plans he has for extending this.

Mr. Maudling

For the current year, the Civil Estimates provided for grant-in-aid to Basutoland of £1,075,000 and, subject to the approval of Parliament, there will be a supplementary grant-in-aid of £66,000. This covers roughly one-third of recurrent expenditure.

In addition it is expected that C.D. & W. grants of £490,500 and Exchequer loans of about £255,000 will be issued this year.

As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the statement of my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations of 5th July. Basutoland will, of course, benefit from this additional assistance.

Mr. Healey

While welcoming the plans which the Minister has already outlined, may I ask him to consider very sympathetically any further requests which reach him from Basutoland, particularly in view of the economic pressure which is beginning to be exerted on that territory by South Africa?

Mr. Maudling

I will certainly do what I can to help in Basutoland's economic problems, which I agree are particularly difficult.