HC Deb 08 February 1966 vol 724 c43W
55. Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations how many of the High Com missioners in the ex-colonial dependencies are former members of the Colonial Ser vice, now in Overseas Service; how many of these are now stationed in Africa; how many have qualifications in an African language; and what is now their average length of service in their present posts in Africa.

Mr. Bottomley

The answer to the first part of the Question is "none". A number of members of the Overseas Civil Service (Colonial Service) have joined the Diplomatic Service, but none of them has so far reached a rank higher than Counsellor or First Secretary. Ex-members of the Colonial Service now in the Diplomatic Service are therefore not yet eligible to be considered for High Commissioner posts, though many of them are serving at High Commissions in ex-colonial territories.

The answer to the other parts of the Question is therefore also "none". Of the six High Commissioners now in Africa, all of whom are former members of the Commonwealth Service, none are known to have any African language qualifications. Their average length of service in their present posts is 18 months.