HC Deb 30 July 1964 vol 699 cc1773-4
17. Mr. Stratton Mills

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation if he will arrange for persons recruited by his Department for service overseas to attend a brief course prior to departure to assist in preparing them for their new duties and environment.

18. Sir H. Legge-Bourke

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation what steps the Government is taking to ensure that British experts, teachers and other persons recruited by the Department of Technical Co-operation to serve in the developing countries are given guidance to help them to fit in as effectively as possible with the social, cultural and political environments in those countries.

Mr. R. Carr

Within the last 12 months my Department has conducted three courses each lasting two to three days for a total of some 200 persons, mainly teachers, going to East Africa. Arrangements have now been made for a substantial proportion of persons recruited by the D.T.C. to attend courses organised by "Oversea Service". During an initial experimental period of 18 months beginning in October, I hope 600 persons, including some wives, will attend.

Miss Vickers

Is any encouragement given to these people to learn some of the language of the country to which they are sent?

Mr. Carr

That will certainly arise, but I will take a special note of what my hon. Friend has said.

19. Mr. Loveys

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation what action is taken by his Department to make known in universities, training establishments and schools the openings for service overseas.

Mr. R. Carr

My Department is closely in touch with appointments boards of universities and advanced training establishments and also supplies them with literature on opportunities overseas. It does not maintain such close contacts with schools but helps, for example, the Commonwealth Institute in providing speakers for their talks for schools on the needs of developing countries.

Mr. Loveys

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that it is important to get far better recruitment in this expanding field than we are doing at present? Would not he consider some further measure of promoting interest in overseas work among children still at school so as to get it into their minds at an early age?

Mr. Carr

There is a limit to the number of contacts which my Department can make. In the schools this is primarily the rôle of voluntary societies which are concerned with obtaining recruits among young volunteers to go overseas. As I said in reply to an earlier Question, we hope that shortly they will be provided with a good recruiting film.