HC Deb 03 April 1951 vol 486 c29
60. Sir W. Smithers

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many trade commissioners and assistant trade commissioners have been appointed since 1945; and what steps were taken before the appointments were made to make sure that they were qualified for their work.

Mr. Bottomley

Since 1945, 49 and 56 appointments have been made to the rank of trade commissioner and assistant trade commissioner respectively. Of these appointments 33 and 28 were to new posts, the remainder being to fill vacancies in existing posts. Before appointment, each candidate appears before a selection board which is so constitued as to ensure that full consideration is given to all the qualities which the work requires.

Sir W. Smithers

Although I have no personal knowledge of this, is the Minister aware that it is stated that many of those appointed have no qualifications whatever and know nothing at all about the job? Will he look into the matter again?

Mr. Bottomley

That is certainly contrary to all the information we have. Perhaps I can refer the hon. Member to the remarks of his hon. Friend the Member for Southgate (Mr. Baxter) in a recent debate on Anglo-Canadian trade.