HC Deb 03 August 1944 vol 402 cc1611-2W
Miss Ward

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make any statement about recruitment to the Foreign Service during the reconstruction period.

Mr. Eden

In his statement on 17th February, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer laid down the principles of Government policy in regard to post-war recruitment for the Civil Service. Those principles apply also in the case of the Foreign Service. The White Paper which I presented to Parliament in January of last year set out the lines which recruitment and training for the Foreign Service will follow when times become normal. The White Paper also explained that, on the cessation of hostilities, the urgent need of the Foreign Service for new staff would involve special arrangements for recruitment. As stated in the White Paper, it will be necessary not merely to make good the wastage of the war years, but also to provide staff to meet the numerous and heavy tasks that will fall upon the Service at the end of the war.

The first need for recruits will be for the senior branch of the Service, that is to say, for the branch which at present consists of established members of the former Diplomatic, Commercial Diplomatic, and Consular Services. The future organisation of the other branches, some of whose members at present form part of the Civil Service, and the question of recruitment to them, are still under consideration.

For the senior branch, it is intended, as soon as possible after hostilities with Germany cease and in the measure that the continued requirements of the general military situation permit, to enable candidates and particularly men now serving in the Forces, to offer themselves as competitors at a simplified "reconstruction" examination such as it should be possible for them to take without special study. Particulars of these examinations, of which it is intended to hold a series at intervals during the two or three years after hostilities in Europe, will be announced in due course by the Civil Service Commissioners, to whom intending candidates will then be invited to apply.

Mr. Eccles

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can now make any statement concerning the methods of recruitment for and conditions of service in the Foreign Service after the war.

Mr. Eden

As regards the first part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to-day to my hon. Friend the Member for Wallsend (Miss Ward). As regards the second part, I have not at this stage anything to add to what is said in Command 6420. In this connection I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Wallsend (Miss Ward) on 26th July.