HC Deb 12 March 1981 vol 1000 c398W
Mr. Tom Ellis

asked the Lord Privy Seal what was the cost in the last two financial years of hospitality and other arrangements for foreign parliamentarians and their wives visiting the United Kingdom.

Mr. Blaker

Exact costs are difficult to identify. The number of foreign parliamentarians, excluding Ministers and Speakers, who visited the United Kingdom under the sponsored visitors' scheme run by the Central Office of Information on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the last two completed financial years was as follows:

  • 1978–79—118
  • 1979–80—55.

These figures represent 7.8 and 3.6 per cent. respectively of the total number of visitors under the scheme and as a proportion of total costs would give figures of approximately £102,000 and £53,000. Spouses are not normally invited. Information regarding other parliamentary visitors invited by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not readily available, but I will circulate it in the Official Report as soon as possible.