HC Deb 11 May 1950 vol 475 cc95-6W
Mr. Edelman

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what has been done to implement the recommendation contained in the 1943 White Paper on the Reform of the Foreign Service, that not more than two persons each year who are above the normal age limits should be accepted for the Foreign Service in consideration of their record since completing their education.

Mr. Ernest Davies

The first of an annual series of competitions based upon the White Paper's recommendation will be held this year. As an exceptional measure, four vacancies will be offered in Grade 7 of the Senior Branch of the Foreign Service, although in future not more than two vacancies will be filled from this competition each year.

The White Paper recommendation of an upper age limit of 30 years for candidates entering the Foreign Service by this method seems unduly restrictive and it is proposed to abandon this limitation. To qualify for the 1950 competition candidates must be at least 32 years and under 42 years of age on 1st August, 1950. There will be no written examination but candidates will be required to appear before a Selection Board appointed by the Civil Service Commissioners.

As regards general qualifications, candidates must have a sound knowledge of international problems and experience of administrative or other work of a responsible nature. In addition, they must be fully conversant with at least one foreign language; candidates with a good knowledge of Chinese, Burmese, Siamese or Arabic are particularly needed.

No precise educational standards will be prescribed for this competition, but candidates must satisfy the Commissioners that they are fully capable of performing the duties normally carried out by Grade 7 officers who are usually recruited from University graduates of at least second class honours degree standard.

Applications to take the 1950 competition must reach the Civil Service Commissioners before 6th June.