HC Deb 01 February 1968 vol 757 cc385-6W
Mr. Bob Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what arrangements have been made to amend the fees charged by consular officers abroad and by certain public officers in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts

A new Table of Fees to replace the present one which has been in force since 1959, was introduced by an Order in Council under the Consular Salaries and Fees Act, 1891, on 26th January and will take effect from 7th February, 1968. I am arranging for copies of the new Fees Table to be placed in the Library of the House as soon as possible. Where it is necessary to charge a fee for services rendered to an individual by a Government official, then the fee should, as far as possible, cover the cost of that service. On this basis certain fees have been increased and others have been reduced.

My right hon. Friend has also decided that, as from 7th February, 1968, passports should be issued for one period of ten years instead of two periods of five years as at present. Children under sixteen will still have passports issued for five years in the first instance, renewable then for a further five years without fee on production of new photographs and personal descriptions. Although the fee for the ten-year passport will be £2, this represents a reduction of ten shillings on the present total cost of passport facilities over the same period.