HC Deb 18 February 1964 vol 689 cc1017-8
31. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation how many people sent overseas by his Department to the Middle East and North Africa have a working knowledge of Arabic.

Mr. R. Carr

Since July 1961, 20 people sent by my Department to countries in the Middle East and North Africa are known to have had knowledge of Arabic at the time of appointment.

Mr. Dalyell

Is the Minister aware that there is a certain amount of concern about Arabic teaching in this country, especially in the light of emigration from the London School of Oriental and African Studies from which six members have left for America in the past three years?

Mr. Carr

The latter point is not my responsibility. As far as my Department's appointments are concerned, our recruitment now is almost entirely on contract for short-term appointments, and it is obviously difficult in these circumstances for people to learn Arabic for one or two years' service.