§ 20. Mr. Aitken
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to publish the report by the Central Policy Review Staff on the future of Great Britain's diplomatic representation overseas.
§ Dr. Owen
I had hoped to publish the report this week, but I regret that there have been delays in printing. It now seems doubtful whether publication can be arranged earlier than 29th July, and even this date could slip. I apologise to the House for the delay.
The report is necessarily lengthy since it covers the whole field of overseas representation. Its recommendations also cover a number of departments, not just the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Government feel that it is most important that there should be an opportunity for all those concerned, not least the right hon. and hon. Members in this House, to express their views before taking any decisions. The staff sides will be fully consulted and the Government will wish to take full account of their views.