HC Deb 25 April 1932 vol 265 cc12-3
20. Sir B. FALLE

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether with a view to reducing costs of the public services, he will consider the reinstatement of the embassies in South America as legations when the next appointments of British representatives are to be made?


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether a site has been decided upon for an embassy at Rio de Janeiro and a building begun; and whether, in the interests of economy and in view of the losses sustained by British subjects both in commercial Brazilian debts and by the third default of the Brazilian Government, he will, when the next appointment is to be made of His Majesty's representative in Rio de Janeiro, reinstate the post as a legation as in the past?


I do not consider that the relatively small saving to be effected by such a step would justify the reversal of the policy of creating these embassies which was only comparatively recently adopted after very careful consideration by His Majesty's Government and by the other British interests concerned, and in consultation with the Governments of these countries. No opportunity, will, however, be missed to reduce to the utmost the cost to the public service of the posts in question. As regards Rio de Janeiro, a site is in the possession of His Majesty's Government, but the plans for erecting a new embassy are being held in abeyance.


Is it not a fact that the staffs are smaller, and that we spend less in those capitals than the United States of America and other nations?


I have no information about that. The saving to be effected would be very small.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say where the British Ambassador at Rio de Janeiro is at present living?


I must ask for notice of that question.