HC Deb 30 October 1952 vol 505 c2086
17. Sir W. Wakefield

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, in view of the present nature of the work of his Department, what steps he is taking to reduce the present number of 810 persons at an annual cost of £516,190 now employed in his Department.

Mr. J. Foster

In the 1951–52 Estimates the equivalent figure of persons employed in the Commonwealth Relations Office was 828, a reduction of 78 on the figure for the previous year. The possibility of further reductions is being kept under continuous and close scrutiny.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Will the Minister and his noble Friend remember that the Commonwealth is one of the most potent factors in the world for world peace, and we should do nothing to damage the machinery by which the relationships of the Commonwealth are carried on?

Mr. Foster

I entirely agree. It is of paramount importance to maintain the closest possible relations with the other Governments of the Commonwealth.