§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether, in the light of negotiations to supply the Indian Government under the British aid programme with six ships built by British Shipbuilders and paid for entirely by British public funds, the Government intend to divert more of the overseas aid budget to the support of loss-making British industries.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
These ships would be financed from the normal aid allocation for India at the request of the Indian850W Government. No diversion of funds would, therefore, be involved. Within the criteria for allocating our aid programme in the 1975 White Paper "More-Aid for the Poorest", we think it right to benefit our own trade and industries as much as possible. In addition we decided last year to allow a small proportion of the bilateral aid programme—around 5 per cent—to be available to give higher priority to the commercial importance of a limited number of developmentally sound projects we identify in developing countries for which there is no aid allocation available or where the allocation is already fully committed.