HC Deb 16 April 1947 vol 436 c172
23. Mr. John Paton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when he' proposes to appoint an agricultural attaché to His Majesty's Embassy in China.

Mr. McNeil

In view of the need for economy in trained manpower 'and in foreign exchange, I do not think that such an appointment could be justified in present circumstances.

Mr. Paton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that Chinese Government spokesmen have been asking for this kind of agricultural attaché; that the United States Embassy has had an agricultural attaché for many months, who has done such good work in China that he is extending United States influence in a most beneficent way; and is not that an example we might well follow?

Mr. McNeil

I am very ready to discuss this proposal with my hon. Friend. However, I know he appreciates that our exchange difficulties and manpower difficulties are very real at present.