HC Deb 11 June 1852 vol 122 cc528-9

begged to ask the noble Lord the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any measures had been adopted for the examination of candidates for appointment and promotion in the Diplomatic service of the country; and whether there would be any objection to lay before the House a return explanatory of such measures, as had been done in the case of the different revenue boards, the Navy, the marines, and more lately (by the Duke of Wellington) in the case of examinations of candidates for the Army?


said, he could not produce such a return as the hon. Member asked for, because no such return existed. The subject of education for the Diplomatic service had for some time past engaged the attention of Government; but, as yet, no definite scheme of examination for entrance on that service had been framed. They had, however, done what they could: their Ministers and Diplomatic agents at foreign Courts had been instructed to report upon the nature of the qualifications required from persons entering on the service in question in other countries; by these means a large body of evidence was being brought together; and when this had been done, and after full time had been taken for consideration, he (Lord Stanley) hoped that a plan would be struck out which they would be enabled to lay before the country. Meantime, all he could say was, that Government agreed with the hon. Member in considering the question as one of great importance: and that being the case, he felt sure that the hon. Member would not desire that any hasty or ill-considered measure should be brought forward, of which there could not but be some risk, if sufficient time to frame it were not allowed.