§ Mr. Frank Field
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will detail for the last 10 years the costs and number of employees covered in his Department's scheme for helping the Diplomatic Corps defray the costs of private education of their children; and if he will break down the costs according to whether they involved the payment of fees, the covering of fares, or any other costs.
§ Mr. Eggar
Since 1979 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has employed three officials to administer boarding school allowances. At 1985 salary costs this amounts to £35,169 per annum. From 1980 to April 1984 four officials made all the travel arrangements for the Diplomatic Service. Twenty-five per cent. of their time involved arrangements for the travel of children of Diplomatic Service parents at boarding school. At 1985 costs this amounted to £12,911. Since the establishment of a Thomas Cook travel centre in the FCO in April 1984 only 10 per cent. of the time of one official has been devoted to travel arrangements for children of Diplomatic Service parents at boarding school. At 1985 costs this amounts to £1,291 per annum. The information for the period before 1979 for the administration of boarding school allowances and before 1980 for travel costs is not readily available and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.