HC Deb 21 March 1872 vol 210 c397

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether Foreign Office Clerks were lately sent with Despatches to Rome and Madrid, while at least six or seven Queen's Foreign Service Messengers were available for such duty; and, if so, if he would state to the House why the usual practice of employing Queen's Messengers has been departed from in the instances referred to?


It is quite true, Sir, that two clerks in the Foreign Office—Messrs. Stephens and Bergne—have lately taken despatches to Rome and Madrid, in place of the usual Foreign Office messengers. Owing to the heavy pressure of official work last year these two gentlemen did not enjoy the full amount of official leave to which they were entitled, and the indulgence occasionally extended to Foreign Office clerks to proceed abroad with despatches was this year accorded to the above-mentioned gentlemen.