Rhodesia (Grants and Loans)
asked the Minister of Overseas Development what grants or loans for humanitarian or medical purposes from Government or other sources, respectively, for Rhodesia have been blocked; and what grants or loans are to be allowed to be sent to Rhodesia.
The British Government had promised the Rhodesian Government £800,000 towards the cost of a new teaching hospital in Salisbury, and, as my predecessor informed the hon. Member in reply to a Question on the 21st December, action on this must follow the general decision to cease aid to Rhodesia.
The question of the blocking of grants from other than Government sources, and the question of what grants or loans may now be sent to Rhodesia are matters for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say why an arbitrary cut of 25 per cent. has been made to all missions for education and health purposes and why, for example, the grants for research into tuberculosis have been stopped altogether?
Tuberculosis research has now been taken over by a charitable organisation and will not be impeded. The level of the remittances, as I said, is a matter for my right hon. Friend. But it is only right to say that the Conference of British Missionary Societies recently issued a statement saying that it had received every consideration from the Government in the discussion of its problems and that the level of remittances authorised by the Government was reasonable and fair.
Can the right hon. Gentleman give any further news of the talks about aid for the university there, which is one of the few non-racial organisations and which is trying to raise the level of African education, which is the Minister’s desire as well as that of the rest of the House?