KOREA (RELIEF PROGRAMME) (Hansard, 19 March 1951)
HC Deb 19 March 1951 vol 485 cc2102-3
57. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what sum has been contributed by the British Government to the United Nations Relief Fund for Korea; and what information he has as to how it is to be spent.

Mr. Younger

His Majesty's Government have offered from £8 million to £10 million sterling towards a total Korean relief and reconstruction programme of 200 million dollars to 250 million dollars and have contributed in kind for immediate relief requirements. An Agent-General for Korean relief has just been appointed, and his plans have still to be made.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Minister aware that the Agent-General has recently stated that there are 3,500,000 refugees in Korea? Is he further aware that South Korea is now faced with famine, and that the best relief would be to stop the war?

Mr. Younger

We all agree, of course, that the best possible relief for Korea would be if the war could be stopped. The estimate of 200 million to 250 million dollars, which is a very large sum for relief, was made before much of the recent fighting occurred. The needs of the country are no doubt correspondingly larger.

Sir Herbert Williams

What Parliamentary authority has the hon. Gentleman for the offer of £10 million?

Mr. Younger

I think that the first part of it came in the Vote on Foreign Office Grants and Services, but much of it will probably be from the forthcoming Estimates.

Sir H. Williams

But by what authority has British money been offered without Parliamentary sanction?

Mr. Younger

Sanction would, of course, be required.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

The Attorney-General.

Professor Savory

On a point of order. As Question No. 58 has twice had to be postponed and as we are adjourning on Thursday, would it be possible for you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, exceptionally, in view of its great importance, to allow an answer to it to be given?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I cannot do that. The hon. Gentleman has simply been unfortunate.