Churches plead for increased overseas aid
Petitions, containing the names of hundreds of people who want the British Government to increase their overseas' aid, were presented to the local MP, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, at Finchley Methodist Church, Ballards Lane, Finchley.
Representatives of seven Finchley churches made presentations of petitions for which they had been collecting signatures for months.
At the outset the Rev. Leonard Barnett, minister of Finchley Methodist Church, said everyone knew how sympathetic Mrs. Thatcher was to the cause of overseas aid. He hoped the people who signed the petitions were prepared to accept sacrifices in promoting the cause.
One per cent …
The petitions call for one per cent of the national wealth of the country—that is gross national product—to be allocated for overseas aid.
“We feel that this is just about as important as anything could be,” said Mr. Barnett, “and we hope that she will accept the 699 signatures and what they stand for.”
Mrs. Thatcher replied that overseas aid was a very proper part of Government policy.
“People who travel abroad and really see conditions realise how much these countries need our help,” she continued. “We already did much to help developing countries.
Mrs. Thatcher said she would take the signatures to the House of Commons.
Churches represented in the deputation were Rev. L. Thomas, parish priest, of St. Philip the Apostle, Regents Park Road, Miss Barbara Anderson, of the Society of Friends, Nether Street, the Rev. R. Y. Baldrey, Vicar of St. Luke's Church, Mountfield Road, the Rev. Michael Crichley, minister of the Union Church, Ballards Lane, the Rev. Phillip Rowe, Rural Dean of Central Barnet and Vicar of All Saints' Church, Durham Road, the Rev. W. H. Wragg, minister of North Finchley Baptist Church Ballards Lane, and Mr. Barnett.