HC Deb 15 December 1964 vol 704 cc189-90
7. Mr. Longbottom

asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will give an estimate of the number of staff her Department expects to have serving overseas in 1965; and whether these will include specialised project advisers.

Mrs. Castle

About 550 in the direct employment of my Department, including specialised project advisers.

Mr. Longbottom

Does the right hon. Lady consider this number sufficient for the real and gigantic task of co-operation with the developing countries which her Department must carry out? If it is not sufficient, will she, through the Commonwealth Relations Office and the Colonial Office, work in those territories where she cannot be represented?

Mrs. Castle

I am not sure that the hon. Gentleman understood my reply. I assumed that his Question referred to the staff in the direct employment of my Department. The majority of these would be the expert advisers we supply to overseas Governments under the regional programmes of technical assistance. They also include our Middle East Development Division. Of course, there are other people whom we are helping to place in the employment of overseas Governments. These are not included in my figure. Nor are the representatives in our embassies and high commissions who are to deal with aid matters.

Mr. Chapman

Is my right hon. Friend aware that her hon. Friends are very satisfied with the progress which she is making in building up this Ministry and with the enthusiasm which she is bringing to her job?—[Interruption.]—However, can she say whether the staff she has in mind includes economists to work under her new chief economist in helping remote areas of the world to draw up their development plans?

Mrs. Castle

I thank my hon. Friend for what he has said. I am sure that he will agree with me that the laughter of hon. Members opposite reflects a guilty conscience for their having failed to institute this necessary planning action which we are pressing ahead with at a remarkably rapid rate.

16. Mr. Longden

asked the Minister of Overseas Development by how much the staff of her Department is expected to exceed that of the Department of Technical Co-operation; and how many of the extra staff will be transferred from other Departments.

Mrs. Castle

Approximately 500, of which some 140 are attributable to preexisting functions. Arrangements have so far been made to transfer 87 staff in respect of these posts.

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