§ 1. Colonel YATE
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what are the sums expended in Consular Services in the Russian Empire by Great Britain and by Germany, respectively; and what is the amount, of the additional estimate proposed for strengthening the British Consular Service in Russia and the character and extent of the proposed improvements?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Acland)
The amount expended on the British Consular Service in Russia for the year 1912–13 was £13,369. I am not in a position to state the sum expended by Germany. Under the Estimates for 1913–14 which have been laid before the House an additional £3,816 is proposed to be devoted to the British Consular Service in Russia. The increase will be expended on increased remuneration to His Majesty's Consular officers, on strengthening the staffs of the Consulates, and on creating salaried Vice-Consulates at Rostov, Novorossisk, and Omsk; and an unsalaried Vice-Consulate at Ekaterinburg.
§ 2. Colonel YATE
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he will consider the question of raising the requirements of candidates for the British Consular Service in Russia, such, for instance, as the admission of the Russian language as a subject for the consular examinations of the Foreign Office and provision for the special training of student interpreters for service in the Russian Empire?
§ Mr. ACLAND
The matter has been carefully examined. It is not considered desirable to adopt either of the alternatives suggested by the hon. and gallant Member's question; but the second suggestion will be in great measure met by sending to Russia to learn the language some of the six redundant Vice-Consuls or probationers provided for under the new scheme recently introduced.