HC Deb 07 November 1955 vol 545 cc1470-1
22. Mr. Ernest Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the duties and terms of reference of Mr. John Wyndham's appointment as his honorary assistant.

Mr. H. Macmillan

Mr. John Wyndham was appointed on 19th September, 1955, in an unpaid capacity to fulfil the normal duties of an assistant private secretary in my private office.

Mr. Davies

Why was it necessary to appoint somebody to this post from outside the Foreign Service? Why is it that nobody within the Foreign Service was promoted to this office? Does this not contain the seeds of a return to patronage within the Foreign Office?

Mr. Macmillan

No, Sir. The reason is very simple. Mr. Wyndham served with me as my private secretary for four years during the war, including my service as Resident Minister in the Central Mediterranean. He undertook—and I am grateful to him—to help me in any way he could, and I have appointed him voluntarily and unpaid.

Mr. Shinwell

Was somebody from outside appointed for security reasons?

Mr. Davies

Is this not a way of getting into the Foreign Office without going through the normal examinations? Is this gentleman subject to the same security tests and controls as members of the Foreign Service?

Mr. Macmillan

The answer to the first part of that question is that Mr. Wyndham has no desire to get into the Foreign Office but only a desire to serve me, as he worked with me for four arduous years. With regard to the second part of the question, the answer is "Yes," of course he was subjected to exactly the same security tests.

Mr. Davies

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I will raise this matter on the Adjournment.

Mr. Hamilton

Jobs for the boys.

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