HC Deb 01 March 1944 vol 397 cc1457-8

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1,525, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1944, for the salaries and expenses of the Department of His Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the salary of a Minister of State.

Mr. Mander (Wolverhampton, East)

I hope that we may have some explanation of the precise duties which the Minister of State will perform. It would be interesting if the Foreign Secretary could let us know how it is proposed to allocate his duties between this country and abroad. I am delighted that the appointment has been made. I cannot think of anything more satisfactory for the foreign affairs of this country than that my two right hon. Friends should be associated together in their conduct. I hope that my support will not be too damaging to them. I think that the sum of £1,525 which it is proposed to spend on my right hon. Friend is money which will be very well spent.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)

It is intended that my right hon. Friend should assist me in the general conduct of foreign policy under the guidance of the War Cabinet. I need hardly say that I warmly welcome his assistance. I have no doubt that I shall stand in need of it, and of any other help I can find, in future as our problems get heavier, as I have no doubt they will.

As regards the actual work, I think the arrangement is really much the same as we have often had in the past in the Foreign Office. We have often had three persons, the Secretary of State and two Under-Secretaries, or perhaps the Secretary of State and the Chancellor of the Duchy, or some other Minister holding an office which does not entail work on its own account, in order to assist our deliberations. Generally, my right hon. Friend will also interest himself in the economic side of our work, as he has been doing, and the knowledge which he has gained at a number of conferences will be invaluable to us.

Question put, and agreed to.

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