HC Deb 05 July 1948 vol 453 c8
9. Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will consider increasing the staff of the British Embassy at Bangkok in view of the size of the Soviet Embassy in Siam.

Mr. McNeil

The size of the staff of the British Embassy at Bangkok does not necessarily depend on that of any other Embassy. A Foreign Service Inspector is shortly visiting Bangkok and he will report on any change in the strength of the staff which may be necessary.

Mr. Gammans

Is it not a fact that there are over 200 Russians in the Soviet Embassy in Siam—10 times more than the number of British in our Embassy—and is it not also a fact that from this Embassy Communist activities in South-East Asia are being directed?

Mr. McNeil

On the second point, I would prefer to see a separate Question on the Order Paper, but I would say that the strength of the Soviet Embassy at Bangkok does not seem to me, on the figures available, to be disproportionate.

Mr. Walter Fletcher

Would the right hon. Gentleman think it was also necessary to increase the staff to stop the very considerable contraband coming over the frontier, with the consequent loss of dollars to this country?

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