HC Deb 27 July 1979 vol 971 c496W
Mr. Bob Dunn

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in theOfficial Report the number of staff in each of the commercial departments attached to British embassies and consulates in each of the countries with which the United Kingdom has trade links, and further, in each department, the number of staff who have had some previous business or commercial training and experience.

Mr. Hurd

Information showing the numbers of United Kingdom-based commercial staff in our missions overseas is contained in Her Majesty's "Diplomatic Service Overseas Reference List" a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. It is regularly updated. The total worldwide is 479. They are supported by 1,051 locally-engaged staff.

It would require disproportionate staff time and expense to provide details of commercial training and experience. But over half of United Kingdom-based commercial officers have previous commercial experience; and the great majority of the rest do a commercial training course before posting. Locally engaged commercial officers are usually selected precisely because of their local commercial experience.