§ Mr. Luce
Assistance to United Kingdom nationals in difficulty overseas is afforded mainly by consular staff. It takes a wide variety of forms but in only a few circumstances—such as those where there might be a need to contact relatives in this country—are consuls required to report to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office cases of assistance rendered. As an illustration, 5,037 cases in 1974 and 5,618 cases in 1980 were reported to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Figures for the other years requested by the hon. Member cannot be provided without disproportionate cost.