Major Talbot Rice is able to speak Turkish and was chosen for his present appointment because of his ability and knowledge of the various countries with which his section deals. He was a member of the Army Officers' Emergency Reserve and was called up in the summer of 1939.
asked the Secretary of State for War how many officers, serving and retired, have, during the last 10 years, qualified for an extra grant for the study of Middle East languages, on the lines of the War Office pamphlet, Regulations relating to the Study of Foreign Languages; and how many of such officers are in employment in which these qualifications can be made adequate use of?
Between 1930 and 1939, 17 officers qualified as first class and 14 as second class interpreters in one or other of the Middle East languages. Of the former, 9 are now serving in the Middle East, and of the latter 5 are serving in the Middle East, 2 have become casualties and one has retired. My hon. Friend will, of course, realise that it may easily happen that officers who have language qualifications may have qualifications in other fields which are even more valuable.