§ Mr. Clark Hutchison
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if, in view of the ease of modern travel and the improvement of communications, he will take steps to reduce the size of United Kingdom embassies overseas; and if, where appropriate, he will reduce the status of a number of embassies to legations.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
No. As the Plowden Committee pointed out, it is in the general interest that Britain should continue to exert her influence in the world. Our "Diplomatic" Services are indispensable to enable her to do so, and the strength and quality of their performance must be fully maintained. The speed of modern communications is no substitute for the work of experienced and competent representatives on the spot.