British ChargÉ Des Archives.

Oral Answers to Questions — Mexico. – in the House of Commons on 15th March 1922.

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Major LOWTHER:

4.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the chargé des archives in Mexico City receives £3,000 per annum free of tax; whether any other chargés des archives receive similar salaries; whether this gentleman's salary was brought to the notice of the Geddes Committee; and what are the reasons which actuate His Majesty's Government in continuing to employ this gentleman in such a capacity, in view of the fact that the Mexican Government have requested his recall on the grounds that he is hindering the re-establishment of friendly relations between the two Governments?

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affrmative. No other officer is employed by His Majesty's Government in an analogous position. Information as to all salaries paid by the Foreign Office was available to the Geddes Committee, but, so far as I am aware, their attention was not specially drawn to this one The Mexican Government have apparently been under the impression that the officer in question was opposed to the establishment of more cordial relations between the two countries, but there is no foundation for this belief, and it has not been thought advisable for His Majesty's Government to replace an officer who has done valuable work under very difficult conditions.

Major LOWTHER:

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in the Foreign Office list there appear at least two or three other charges des archives? How does the hon. Gentleman reconcile that with his answer?

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

I am not aware of that, and I understand that the position of this officer is quite different from that of many others.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

What possible justification can there be for paying £3,000 free of tax to an officer like this, in view of the financial position of the nation?

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

The payment made to these officers must depend upon the work which they have to perform. The cost of living has been very high in these cases and countries.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

Is the work that this gentleman does more important than that done by many important Members of the Government, who receive a good deal less?

Major LOWTHER:

I beg to give notice that I shall at an early date raise this question on the adjournment.