HC Deb 29 July 1966 vol 732 c344W
Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what was the total annual cost of Great Britain's diplomatic representation abroad in each of the last five years; and what steps he will take to reduce it.

Mrs. White

The estimated costs falling on the Diplomatic Service Vote (including the cost of the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Relations Office in London) in 1965–66 amount to £37.8 million of which some £21 million represents overseas expenditure. The costs falling on the Vote in the previous four years was as follows:

1961–62 £24.7 million
1962–63 £26.4 million
1963–64 £28.9 million
1964–65 £33.9 million

In this period the Service had to undertake many new commitments, including the establishment of missions in eleven newly independent Commonwealth countries. Nevertheless the total cost of the Diplomatic Service remained constant at approximately 0.5 per cent. of the total of Government expenditure.

The Diplomatic Service is making its full contribution to the cuts in Government overseas expenditure to which the Prime Minister referred in his statement on 20th July.