HC Deb 11 April 1907 vol 172 c364

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that in the British Consular Service in China and Japan; promotion depends largely upon proficiency in the native language; whether three years study is prescribed, with at least three examinations; and whether he will take steps to secure that in Egypt, where the British civil servants are so largely engaged in administrative duties, a similar standard of proficiency in the native language shall be established for them.


Promotion in the British Consular Service in China and Japan no doubt depends greatly on proficiency in the native language. I have no reason to believe that this is not also the case in the Egyptian Civil Service, but Englishmen in the service of the Khedive are subject to regulations laid down by the Egyptian Government, and not by that of His Majesty. It is, however, the case that the native language is one of the qualifications for entry into the Egyptian Service.