HC Deb 16 February 1968 vol 758 cc434-5W
Mr. Whitaker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what proportion of members of the British Diplomatic Service are now engaged principally on commercial promotional work, compared with previous years.

Mr. Mulley:

It is difficult to make precise comparisons with earlier years, since the unified Diplomatic Service providing our commercial representation in both Commonwealth and foreign countries dates only from 1st January, 1965. The staff in representational grades in the Diplomatic Service now filling full-time commercial posts form 22 per cent. of the total staff in these grades overseas. The comparable percentage for the Foreign Service in 1964 was 18 per cent.; in 1958 it was 15 per cent. This does not include Heads of Mission or Consuls-General much of whose work is largely commercial; nor the large number of staff who are engaged part-time in commercial work.

Mr. Whitaker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will list in the OFFICIAL REPORT the places where additional British commercial consular or attaché posts have been created since 1964.

Mr. Mulley

These places (showing additional full-time posts) are:

Commercial Consular Attaché
Brussels Tel Aviv Bonn
San Salvador Rabat Paris
Lyons Beira Washington
Paris Atlanta Athens
Berlin Hanoi Tehran
Budapest U.K. Delegation To E.E.C.,
Haifa Brussels
Milan Stockholm
Las Palmas
New York
St. Louis

Mr. Whitaker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many experienced former salesmen or businessmen are at present employed by the British Diplomatic Service.

Mr. Mulley:

At present I estimate that approximately 200 career officers in the representational grades have a commercial or industrial background.

People with practical commercial or industrial experience are encouraged to compete for posts in the Diplomatic Service, through a scheme for supplementary recruitment open to candidates from 27 to 40 (or in some cases, 45) years old.