Commercial Secretary in Chile.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 13th July 1922.

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Photo of Sir Patrick Hannon Sir Patrick Hannon , Birmingham Moseley

14.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether his attention has been drawn to the activity of the American and Spanish Governments in providing commercial facilities and advice throughout South America; and whether, in view of this fact, he will reconsider the closing of the office of His Majesty's Commercial Secretary at Santiago, Chile?

Photo of Mr Cecil Harmsworth Mr Cecil Harmsworth , Luton

Yes, Sir. I regret that it should have proved necessary to include the post of Commercial Secretary in Chile among those which have been closed in order to secure the required reduction in the cost of the Commercial Diplomatic Service. I can assure the hon. Member that all considerations bearing upon the relative importance of the various posts concerned were very carefully weighed before the decision was taken.

Photo of Sir Patrick Hannon Sir Patrick Hannon , Birmingham Moseley

Is not this just the time when the representatives of British trade should be encouraged to continue in office?

Photo of Sir Percy Hurd Sir Percy Hurd , Frome

Does not the information at the disposal of the Overseas Trade Department show that the South American market at this moment is especially important to us, and cannot this decision be reconsidered?

Photo of Sir Harry Brittain Sir Harry Brittain , Acton

Is it not true that more money is invested in Chile by the British than by any other nation?

Photo of Mr Cecil Harmsworth Mr Cecil Harmsworth , Luton

I do not know. This case has been most carefully considered, and I understand that it is not possible to reconsider it. I will, how-over, present the views of my hon. Friends to the Department concerned.

Photo of Colonel Charles Yate Colonel Charles Yate , Melton

Cannot the reduction of these consuls be avoided by raising the consular fees?

Photo of Mr Cecil Harmsworth Mr Cecil Harmsworth , Luton

That is a different consideration altogether.