HL Deb 28 June 1985 vol 465 cc947-8WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the estimated annual cost to the taxpayer of the market information and export intelligence provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the British Overseas Trade Board, given that "the resources devoted to it amount to about 32 per cent. of our front line manpower deployed overseas". (Statement by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, House of Commons Hansard, May 24th 1985, col. 1284).

Baroness Young

Thirty-two per cent. of Diplomatic Service (excluding secretarial and clerical staff) and senior locally-engaged manpower overseas is devoted to commercial work (35 per cent. if economic work is also taken into account). The provision of market information and export intelligence to industry and commerce through the British Overseas Trade Board represents only one part of this work.

In 1983–84, the last financial year for which we have breakdown by function, the cost of commercial and economic work undertaken by Diplomatic Service offices was £61 million, including local administration costs but excluding Foreign and Commonwealth Office headquarters costs. We are in the process of breaking this down further under the broad headings of export promotion, inward investment promotion, trade policy and relations, protection of commercial interests and economic reporting.