Commonwealth heads of government, continuing their conference in Singapore, yesterday (Monday) debated the international economic situation.
GV Flags at conference hall (2 shots)
SV British P.M. Heath into building
SV Shearer (Jamaica) into building (2 shots)
SV Forbes Burnham (Guyana) into building
SV Razak (Malaysia) into building (2 shots)
CU Moi (Kenya) into building
CU Mrs Bandaranaike (Ceylon) into building
CU Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (Mauritius) arrives
SV Trudeau (Canada) arrives (2 shots)
CU Kaunda (Zambia) arrives
SV & CU Swaran Singh (India) into building (2 shots)
SV Dr. Borg Oliver (Malta) into building
SV Obote (Uganda) out of building and into car
Initials AH/JH/ES.1646 AH/JH/ES.1710
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Background: Commonwealth heads of government, continuing their conference in Singapore, yesterday (Monday) debated the international economic situation. British Prime Minister Edward Heath, trying to allay the anxiety felt by developing countries, pledged that Britain would continue to follow liberal trading policies and would increase aid to poorer nations.
The problem of rampant inflation was broached by many leaders. Britain's tactics, said Mr Heath, were to oppose inflationary settlements, reduce taxation and cut back government spending -- though this did not include cuts in overseas aid, he emphasised.
Britain, he added, did not believe in deflation. This would only lead to unemployment, reduced exports and a cut in imports, which would hurt developing countries.
India and other textile producers were worried about a change in Britain's import policy for Commonwealth cotton textiles, under which existing quotas would be abolished and replaced by a tariff system. Mr Heath assured these countries that the new system would not mean a reduction in their exports to Britain.
Behind the scenes yesterday, the controversy over proposed British arms sales to South Africa continued to simmer. At a news conference, President Milton Obote of Uganda warned that the sale of arms would be an open invitation to the Soviet Union, and possibly to the Chinese, to replace the influence of Western powers on their continent.