Perhaps my hon. Friend would give me a more precise indication of what he has in mind. We are certainly anxious that embassies should give all appropriate assistance in export promotion, but I think that non-official organisations would prefer that nonofficial centres overseas should be kept separate from official missions.
Is my hon. Friend saying that our trade centres are not a Government responsibility? In that case, may I draw his attention to the conclusion of the Plowden Committee, which clearly stated that commercial and economic responsibilities must be a first charge on our overseas missions?
I devoted a substantial part of my speech in the last foreign affairs debate to explaining how the Government were seeking to implement the Plowden Committee's view that export promotion should be a first charge on the Diplomatic Service; but the plain fact is that the National Export Council, the Confederation of British Industries and the Association of British Chambers of Commerce all consider that it would be preferable for unofficial organisations overseas to be kept separate from official missions.
Would my hon. Friend look again at this matter, as most of our trade attachés have little knowledge or understanding of the problems confronting Scotland? Would not trade attaches well versed in our problems be able to help in the development of our trade?