HC Deb 01 February 1965 vol 705 cc207-8W
62. Mr. G. Campbell

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action is being taken to improve the status and gradings of the appointments of locally-engaged commercial officers in posts abroad, following the recommendation in paragraph 245 of the Report by the Plowden Committee.

Mr. George Thomson

Since 1963, a Diplomatic Service Inspector with commercial expertise has been investigating the commercial effort overseas of the Foreign Service. He will in future cover the effort of the entire Diplomatic Service overseas. As a result of his recommendations and those of Heads of Mission, 38 officers serving in commercial sections abroad have so far been promoted, 26 additional posts in commercial departments overseas have been authorised, and a number of accountable entertainment allowances have been authorised or increased. Market officers have been renamed commercial officers, and every effort is being made to press on with the introduction of pension schemes for locally-engaged staff overseas.