§ 22. Mr. Austin
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what were the reasons for the suspension of the appointments abroad of Labour Attachés; when it is proposed to lift this suspension with a view to filling all vacancies, including those in countries in Eastern Europe; and in what proportion of the 19 appointments already made has the attaché concerned been a member of a trade union.
While it is the case that no fresh appointments have been made in recent months, there has been no decision to suspend all further appointments to Labour Attaché posts. In present circumstances all additional overseas appointments must be most carefully considered on grounds of economy. My right hon. Friend remains fully conscious of the importance of making adequate arrangements for His Majesty's Representatives to be kept closely in touch with labour questions, but it has never been his intention to appoint a Labour Attaché to every Embassy and Legation. The 19 Labour Attachés now in post are accredited to 41 Missions, and a large part of the world is, therefore, covered.
In reply to the last part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland (Mt. F. Willey) on 7th July, 1947.