§ MR. LEGH (Lancashire, S.W., Newton)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if it is the case that the Hon. M. H. Herbert has been appointed to the Post of Secretary of Legation at Washington; and if the appointment was offered to any Secretaries of Legation serving elsewhere; if not, on what grounds Mr. Herbert has been promoted over the heads of ten Second Secretaries and 14 Secretaries of Legation?
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. J. W. LOWTHER,) Cumberland, Penrith
Mr. Herbert has been appointed Secretary of Legation at Washington, not over the heads of ten Second Secretaries, but of six, two of his seniors having been promoted, one having been offered promotion, which he refused, and one being at present unemployed. Mr. Herbert has not passed over the heads of 14 Secretaries of Legation, as all Secretaries of Legation are on an equality as regards rank, and he will take the lowest place amongst them. In 1189 the opinion of the Secretary of State, Mr. Herbert, who has had more than three years' service at Washington, is specially qualified to fill the post, which requires an unusual amount of discretion. Mr. Herbert was in charge of the Legation at a critical period, after Her Majesty's Minister had received his passports, and has for the last year performed the duties of First Secretary to the entire satisfaction of his superiors.