HC Deb 17 April 1967 vol 745 cc72-3
13. Mr. David Watkins

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will take further steps to improve the economic advice available to Foreign Office Ministers.

Mr. Mully

Yes, Sir, as far as may be necessary.

Mr. Watkins

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that the information which is received from outposts of the Foreign Office is accurate and that adequate machinery exists in the Foreign Office for a correct interpretation of that information?

Mr. Mulley

The main economic functions of the Government do not, of course, rest with the Foreign Office, but we are constantly examining the possibilities of strengthening the economic service in the Foreign Office and in the foreign field. My hon. Friend is wrong if he thinks that in the various embassies and consulates-general we do not do a very good job on the economic side.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

In view of his reply, will the right hon. Gentleman see that this important service is made available to Treasury Ministers as well?

Mr. Shinwell

Could we have an answer to that question? Would it be possible—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I thought the hon. Gentleman had asked a rhetorical question. Mr. Dodds-Parker.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Will the right hon. Gentleman remove the foreign advisers to the Economic Ministers?