HC Deb 01 August 1947 vol 441 cc99-100W
Mr. Bartlett

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in order to increase understanding in his Department of problems arising in the Colonies, he will consider the reorganisation of the service so that officials called upon to serve at home may all have had firsthand knowledge of service conditions in the Colonial Empire.

Mr. Creech Jones

The permanent administrative staff of the Colonial Office are members of the Home Civil service, but most of the senior officers have some experience of service in the Colonies, and a period of such service forms an essential part of the normal training of new entrants. The permanent staff is reinforced by a constant succession of administrative officers seconded from the Colonial Service, who serve here for varying periods and at various levels. The advisory staffs are composed largely of persons drawn from the Colonial Service. Those who have not actually served in the Colonies are constantly obtaining firsthand knowledge of Colonial conditions by means of visits.

The present arrangements are, therefore, designed to promote the closest understanding by my Department of the problems arising in the Colonies. If by a reorganisation of the Service the hon. Member means that the staff of the Colonial Office should be amalgamated with the Colonial Service, I can only say that whenever this question has been examined in the past it has been concluded that the weight of argument is against such amalgamation.