HC Deb 20 May 1968 vol 765 cc27-8
31. Mr. George Jeger

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it was with his authority, and at the expense of his Department, that an ex-delegate to the Council of Europe who was replaced on 30th November, 1967, attended a meeting of a Committee of the Council in Paris on 14th December, 1967.

Mr. William Rodgers

Authority was given at a time when the hon. Member concerned was still a delegate and the Foreign Office was unaware of a change in status until after the expenditure had been incurred.

Mr. Jeger

Is not this an example of the confusion that has occurred in the appointment of delegates to the Council of Europe and their replacement? Is this confusion deliberate, so that the Foreign Office can say that it is done by my right hon. Friend the Patronage Secretary and the Patronage Secretary can say that it is done by the Foreign Office?

Mr. Rodgers

I am not aware that there is any confusion. Therefore, the question of whether it is deliberate does not arise.

Mr. Webster

Had the matter been cleared by the Credentials Committee of the Council of Europe?

Mr. Rodgers

It did not come within its jurisdiction.