HC Deb 23 February 1965 vol 707 cc219-20
24. Mr. Longbottom

asked the Minister of Overseas Development how many new overseas posts in British High Commissions and Embassies have now been created to be held by members of her Department.

Mrs. Castle

Overseas development posts in British High Commissions and Embassies are on the establishment of the Diplomatic Service, but arrangements exist for officers from my Department to be seconded to the Diplomatic Service to fill these posts. There are at present five such seconded officers. These are in addition, of course, to the much larger number of diplomatic service officers who are specially concerned with aid.

Mr. Longbottom

I am grateful to the right hon. Lady for that reply. However, during the coming year, does she anticipate being able to second more officers from her Department to these overseas posts? If not, will there be direct representation from these overseas posts to her or through the Foreign Office or Commonwealth Relations Office?

Mrs. Castle

I certainly hope during the coming months to increase the number of officers in my Department who will be seconded for this work at important receiving points in the developing countries. Even where these posts are filled as part of the Diplomatic Service, we are in close direct touch with those officers who are working full-time on matters concerned with aid.

Mr. Kershaw

Would it not be a graceful gesture by the right hon. Lady towards her former comrades on the Left-wing of the Labour Party, and would it not help the unity of the Labour Party, if she recommended some of her colleagues for these posts?

Mr. James Johnson

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the appointment of educational attachés, particularly in Africa, where technical education has been so badly neglected?

Mrs. Castle

I do not think it would be right to appoint separate educational attaches, but the needs of education are certainly kept under review by the officers who are seconded by my Department.

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