§ 14. Miss Lestor
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the Japanese Government's proposals at the Toronto summit to, in effect, turn part of the commercial bank debt into Government bonds and to ease the amount of debt payments.
§ Miss Lestor
Bearing in mind that, as a proportion of GNP, aid from Britain to the Third world is now at its lowest ebb, debt becomes an important part of easing the burden of those countries. Also bearing in mind that the Japanese proposals relate particularly to middle-income 550 countries, where malnutrition is rising and whose incomes are falling, could not the Chancellor be persuaded to look more closely at the Japanese proposals, which have a contribution to make?
§ Mr. Lilley
I would have hoped that the hon. Lady, who takes a great interest in these matters, would pay tribute to my right hon. Friend's success, through his dogged persistence, in achieving agreement at Toronto on the initiative to help the sub-Saharan African countries, which is a major and important priority. We shall, of course, consider in detail any proposals that the Japanese put to us. As we see in the hon. Lady's question, she has misinterpreted what the proposals probably are.