Oral Answers to Questions — Diplomatic Service

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th February 1967.

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Photo of Mr Paul Rose Mr Paul Rose , Manchester, Blackley 12:00 am, 27th February 1967

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what was the annual application and intake to the Diplomatic Service from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield in 1965 and 1966.

Photo of Mr George Thomson Mr George Thomson , Dundee East

Since the Answer consists of tables and figures I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Mr Paul Rose Mr Paul Rose , Manchester, Blackley

In view of the overwhelming preponderance of "Oxbridge" graduates, and of the fact that 144 out of 144 Manchester University graduates were turned down in the previous five years, may I ask my right hon. Friend to say what steps are being taken to broaden the intake into this service?

Photo of Mr George Thomson Mr George Thomson , Dundee East

I think that my hon. Friend will find the figures I have given him disappointing, as I myself find them. We are making constant efforts, by sending people round the provincial universities, to increase recruitment from those universities. I think that the prime problem lies, not with the Foreign Office or the selection process but, at the moment, with the universities themselves.

Photo of Mr Peter Blaker Mr Peter Blaker , Blackpool South

Will not the right hon. Gentleman confirm that the efforts made by the Foreign Office and the Civil Service Commission to encourage applicants to come forward from universities other than Oxford and Cambridge have been going on for many years?

Photo of Mr George Thomson Mr George Thomson , Dundee East

Yes, Sir. The efforts have been going on for a number of years, and have been greatly intensified in the last year or two. I think that what concerns many of my hon. Friends is not only the universities the candidates come from but the kind of schools they come from originally. On this, I can tell the House that between last year and this year there has been a notable improvement in the spread of schools from which applicants are coming. The number of successful candidates coming from the Headmasters' Conference Schools has dropped from 66 per cent. to 57 per cent.,

THE ANNUAL APPLICATION AND INTAKE TO THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE FROM THE UNIVERSITIES OF OXFORD, CAMBRIDGE, LONDON, MANCHESTER, LEEDS, LIVERPOOL AND SHEFFIELD FOR 1965 AND 1966 IN THE THREE COMPETITIONS FOR GRADUATES WAS AS FOLLOWS:
Normal Administrative Recruitment (to Grades 8 and 7)
UniversityApplications1965 SuccessesAppointedApplications1966 SuccessesAppointed
Oxford1231110112137(2)
Cambridge1001312112115(5)
London25222811
Manchester915
Leeds11
Liverpool46
Sheffield2
Total26226242762513(7)
Supplementary Recruitment to Grades 7 and 5 (Administrative)
Oxford44423844
Cambridge43543822
London31112711
Manchester84
Leeds23
Liverpool1
Sheffield13
Total12910711477
Graduate Recruitment to Grade 9 (Executive)
Oxford20111044
Cambridge20431532
London27331911
Manchester11722
Leeds37
Liverpool11
Sheffield41
Total868760109

Notes:

1. The figures in brackets are candidates whose entry has been deferred for postgraduate study or V.S.O.

2. The figures for applications show all applicants, whether or not they were also candidates for the Home Civil Service, and whether or not the Diplomatic Service was their first choice.

3. The difference between the numbers of successes and those appointed in 1966 is due to those who declined appointment for other jobs.