HC Deb 27 March 1974 vol 871 c441
16. Mr. Luce

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has changed the basis upon which senior Foreign Office personnel are appointed.

Mr. James Callaghan

No, Sir.

Mr. Luce

Is the right hon. Gentleman quite sure about that? Although I am not in any way criticising the calibre of Mr. Ivor Richard as the new ambassador to the United Nations, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many people feel it a great insult, not just to the Diplomatic Service but to the United Nations, that he should remove Sir Donald Maitland after only a few months in office and replace him by a man who in public has said that he plans to return to this country in a few months' time to fight the next General Election?

Mr. Callaghan

A great many people may feel that, but I have not heard it until this afternoon.

Mr. Greville Janner

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the appointment of Mr. Ivor Richard has given great satisfaction—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Oh, yes, and the better they know him, the more satisfaction it has given. They wish him well in this difficult job. Hon. Members should not make it more difficult, as the hon. Gentleman has.

Mr. Callaghan

I expect that the appointment of Mr. Ivor Richard has given as much satisfaction—[An HON. MEMBER: "In Blyth?"]—perhaps to different people as did the appointment of Lord Cromer in his day and Sir Christopher Soames on an earlier occasion.

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