HC Deb 08 March 1944 vol 397 cc2027-8
4. Fliģht-Lieutenant Teelinģ

asked the Secretary of State for Foreiģn Affairs what is the practice regarding the duration of ambassadorial appointments, especially to the larger countries of the world which it takes ambassadors time to cover and to understand; and whether, as in these critical days disappointment will be caused to our friends in these countries if the ambassadors are withdrawn almost as soon as they have begun to find their feet, he will see that such appointments are not frequently changed.

Mr. Eden

I recognise the disadvantages of frequent changes in our representation abroad, especially in countries which require time to know and understand and I therefore try to avoid unnecessary changes. But it is impracticable to fix a definite term for ambassadorial appointments, especially at the present time when developments in the war situation may make it necessary suddenly to transfer an ambassador or other Foreign Service officer who has special qualifications for a particular post.

Mr. Shinwell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, so far as some of us are concerned, there are some ambassadors who, in our view, ought to be changed very soon?