HC Deb 22 November 1937 vol 329 cc850-1
48. Mr. Lambert

asked the Prime Minister whether, in order to relieve the strain on the Foreign Secretary, he will utilise the services of British Ambassadors to represent Great Britain at various councils and conferences abroad?

The Prime Minister

I fully realise the exceptional strain which is imposed upon the Foreign Secretary by the nature of the many problems with which he has to deal. But while I am anxious wherever possible to relieve my right hon. Friend from any duties which can equally well be performed by others, there are many occasions when he must personally attend international conferences and councils at which other countries are represented by their Foreign Ministers. I may add that in my opinion the personal contacts thus established form a valuable means of promoting mutual understanding.

Mr. Lambert

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is a comparatively new innovation that the Foreign Secretary should make many visits abroad. Is he not aware that great Foreign Secretaries like the late Lord Salisbury and Sir Edward Grey rarely made official visits abroad?

The Prime Minister

I am aware of that.