§ 40. Mr. Mackinlay
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will consider further increasing know-how fund resources to help with problems in the developing world.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Douglas Hurd)
An important part of our aid programme to developing countries is know-how in the form of training and technical co-operation. We shall continue to treat this form of aid as particularly important.
§ Mr. Mackinlay
Does the Foreign Secretary understand that many hon. Members will not be satisfied with his reply, bearing in mind that the fragile democracies and economies of central Europe as well as Commonwealth countries are desperate for assistance from western Europe? Will he assure the House that in any review of the Government's budget the know-how funds for both central and eastern Europe and Commonwealth countries will be guaranteed? Will he tell the Heads of Government from Poland and elsewhere at the summit in London this 771 week that the United Kingdom will increase its budget this year to assist them in developing, protecting and enhancing their fragile democracies and economies?
§ Mr. Hurd
I am glad that the hon. Gentleman agrees that the British know-how funds in central and eastern Europe have been a marked success. They have succeeded not only because of the substantial sums allotted to them—£36 million last year—but because they are precisely targeted at the aims and objectives of those countries. I am sure that we will discuss this matter at the summit in London on Wednesday. Obviously, I cannot anticipate what funds will be available in the future.
§ Mr. Cormack
Does my right hon. Friend realise that many Conservative Members do not expect the know-how funds or other parts of the aid budget to be cut and will take a serious view of any such cut?