HC Deb 06 July 1920 vol 131 cc1200-1
4. Brigadier - General SURTEES

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many of the British Ambassadors' posts are now held by persons other than professional diplomats; and whether, seeing that the appointment of non-professional persons to such posts is calculated to retard promotion in the Diplomatic Service and thereby dis- courage those who spend their lives abroad in the belief that they are qualifying for the higher ranks of their profession, he will give the matter his consideration.


The posts of Ambassador at present held by Ambassadors who had not previously been members of the Diplomatic Service are those of Paris, Washington, and Berlin. While the posts of Ambassador are, as a general rule, filled by professional diplomatists, the choice of an Ambassador for any particular country cannot be restricted when special political considerations or circumstances have to be taken into account.


Is it not the general feeling in this country that we should discard professional Ambassadors, and have men fitted to go to great countries.


The hon. Member is just as well able to estimate public opinion as I am.

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