Petition; ignored. WE, the undersigned, a group of Scottish Churchmen, wish 10 mem, iurennccrn :it the change III British aid police announced in Parliament 011 Eehrllary 20. Compared with other affluent countries Britain has never been generous with its aid, neither in the overall total as a proportion of our national income. nor in the terms on which it was given. Nevertheless, some signs of a greater awareness of the needs of the world's poor were noticeable in the last five years or so — not just from the last Government's policy. "More aid for the poorest", but also in the working of the all-party select corfunittee on overseas development. Both of these sources of policy seem to he severely threatened by the new position taken by Lord ce rrinet on and Neil Marten. We reiterilie our statement from the World Poverty
"WE, the undersigned. realising that a vast number of the worlds people suffer conditions of evtreate deprivation. urge the Government to give greater priority to the needs of the poor. In particular we call on the Government to meet the international largo for the official overseas aid hr
When the petition, signed by over 120,000 people was presented to tht Secretary olState for Scotland, he gave assurance that at least the overseas aid budget would not be cut. The announcement on February 20 appears to he in direct conflict with • George Younger's statement. !laid is used to support foreign policy or commercial interests, then the most worthwhile projects for the poured groups in the world are likely to be It is already clear that India and Raneladesh. where needs are tremendous, era tottering more then proportionatels from cuts in •the aid budget — and the aid budget is Nine cut far more i.lraslically than can be supported by reasoned argument. We feel very strongly about di is issue and the petition illustrates that many others in Scotland feel similarly.
We would urge the Gosern ruent to also reconsider its priorities. and not only to restore the cuts announced, but also to declare its intent to fulfil the wishes expressed in the World Poverty Petition.
Cardinal G. Gray, Lord MacLeod. Archbishop I. Winning, Bishop M. Conti, Bishop J. Monaghan, Fr. .1. Dalrymple, Rev..I. Patterson, Rev. %lac:Milian, Rev. G. Straehan, RM. S. Mackie. Rev. I. 1.% byte.. Her. \I.
Nlackenzie, Rev. R. Curran.