HC Deb 20 May 1957 vol 570 cc835-6
10. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if Her Majesty's Government will propose to the United Nations the establishment of an international pool of experienced administrators from whom newly independent Governments could select personnel for employment in technical duties and to train citizens of the territories concerned in such duties.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ian Harvey)

No, Sir. The attitude of Her Majesty's Government towards a civil service under international responsibility was made clear by my noble Friend the present Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland in a speech to the 22nd Session of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in July, 1956, a copy of which is available in the Library. On the other hand, Her Majesty's Government wholeheartedly support the supply of experts and advisers to States requesting their services, under the Technical Assistance programmes of the United Nations and the Specialised Agencies.

As regards the last part of the Question, the United Nations, the Specialised Agencies and the Extended Technical Assistance Programme allocated in 1956$1.4 million for the training in public administration of national civil servants and other suitably sponsored and qualified persons.

Mr. Brockway

While thanking the hon. Gentleman for that very full reply, may I ask whether he will urge upon his right hon. and learned Friend some reconsideration of this position for two reasons: first, that if there is an international panel Governments may be able to select from it, without any feeling that there are national political reasons behind it, and secondly, that it will be a big, positive, constructive step towards peace?

Mr. Harvey

I appreciate the points which the hon. Gentleman has put, but there have been no great demands in that direction by the newly-formed Governments concerned, and so I do not think there is any great need to bring these points to my right hon. and learned Friend's notice.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Is the Joint Under-Secretary of State aware that we remember with regret the speech made in Geneva by the noble Lord a little while ago, and will he represent to the Foreign Secretary that Technical Assistance is really a major British interest, and that the lack of a properly trained, long-term service, pool of experts is a major difficulty? Will he support the proposals made by the Secretary-General under this head?

Mr. Harvey

I do not think that what I have said contradicts in any way what the right hon. Gentleman has said. It is merely a question of a primary organisation. As I have indicated in my Answer, there is no great demand for this central organisation.