HC Deb 12 October 1943 vol 392 cc754-5W
Mr. Kirby

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress has been made to implement the Government's recent proposals as to the reform of the Foreign Service?

Mr. George Hall

Of the six main proposals in Command 6420 two, those for the amalgamation of the Diplomatic, Commercial Diplomatic and Consular Services and the Superannuation Bill, have been put into effect by the Order in Council of 20th May and the Foreign Service Act respectively. A new scheme for recruitment and training has been drawn up and will be put into force when regular recruit- ment begins again. The re-grading of certain posts has been begun but cannot be completed until the Service is reconstituted. The proposals for improving conditions of service at home have been agreed and will also be brought into force at the end of the war. As regards administration, the Personnel Department has been set up and a special board has been chosen to advise my right hon. Friend in cases of retirement under the Foreign Service Act. It has also been decided that a Deputy Under-Secretary of State for Administration and inspectors of diplomatic posts abroad shall be appointed as soon as the time is ripe. The proposals for the reorganisation of the subordinate branches of the Service and many other administrative questions arising out of the amalgamation of the Services and their reorganisation are now under discussion between my right hon. Friend and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I hope that these discussions will shortly be completed.