HC Deb 08 March 1948 vol 448 cc124-5W
Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations which parts of the Commonwealth have been visited by the Permanent Under-Secretary or the Deputy Under-Secretary of his Department; and if he will give the dates of such visits.

Mr. Gordon-Walker

There are two Permanent Under-Secretaries and two Deputy Under-Secretaries in the Commonwealth Relations Office, corresponding to the former Dominions Office and the former India Office respectively. Members of the administrative staff of the former Dominions Office are liable for service overseas as well as in London, and about one-third of the staff are, at any time, stationed in the offices of the United Kingdom High Commissioners overseas. In addition to this, members of the staff pay visits overseas on official business where-ever possible. But the very heavy pressure of work in recent years has made it impracticable to spare the most senior members of the staff for such visits.

The administrative staff of the former India Office are not at present liable to serve overseas but many of them have visited India. Both the Permanent Under-Secretary and the Deputy Under Secretary have served in India and have visited the Dominions of India and Pakistan during recent months.