HC Deb 04 November 1986 vol 103 cc795-6
11. Mr. Yeo

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many non-British civilians are employed by his Department.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

There are 168,000 civil servants employed by the Ministry of Defence in the United Kingdom and about 30,000 locally engaged civilians overseas. Information is not held centrally as to how many are non-British and it would be prohibitively expensive to collect it.

Candidates for the Civil Service must meet certain nationality and residence rules in order to be eligible for consideration for a post and each case is individually examined at the time of application.

Mr. Yeo

Bearing in mind the great cost of unemployment to British taxpayers, albeit a cost which arises in a Department different from that in which my hon. Friend has recently and happily assumed responsibilities, can he assure the House that the most careful consideration is given, whenever a non-British citizen is appointed, to the alternative of appointing a British citizen, from whatever part of the United Kingdom?

Mr. Hamilton

The qualifications for appointments within the United Kingdom are that people should have been in this country for a long time, so it is only in exceptional circumstances that foreigners are employed.