§ Mr. Wyatt
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the percentage increase in the number of countries in which the British Council is represented since(a) 1979 and (b) 1997, and the percentage change in real terms of the Council's grant-in-aid over the same periods. 
§ Mr. Hain
The number of countries in which the British Council is represented increased by 38 per cent. between 1979 and 1997. During this period, the Council received a grant-in-aid from both the FCO and the DFID. The grant-in-aid from the FCO increased by 24 per cent. in real terms (from £83.9 million to £104.1 million) over this period; however, the overall increase was much smaller as the grant-in-aid funding from DFID declined by 56 per cent. in real terms over the same period.