Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign Office Ministers (Economic Advice)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr David Watkins Mr David Watkins , Consett 12:00 am, 17th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will take further steps to improve the economic advice available to Foreign Office Ministers.

Mr. Mully:

Yes, Sir, as far as may be necessary.

Photo of Mr David Watkins Mr David Watkins , Consett

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that the information which is received from outposts of the Foreign Office is accurate and that adequate machinery exists in the Foreign Office for a correct interpretation of that information?

Photo of Mr Fred Mulley Mr Fred Mulley , Sheffield Park

The main economic functions of the Government do not, of course, rest with the Foreign Office, but we are constantly examining the possibilities of strengthening the economic service in the Foreign Office and in the foreign field. My hon. Friend is wrong if he thinks that in the various embassies and consulates-general we do not do a very good job on the economic side.

Photo of Mr Norman St John-Stevas Mr Norman St John-Stevas , Chelmsford

In view of his reply, will the right hon. Gentleman see that this important service is made available to Treasury Ministers as well?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

Could we have an answer to that question? Would it be possible—

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

Order. I thought the hon. Gentleman had asked a rhetorical question. Mr. Dodds-Parker.

Photo of Sir Douglas Dodds-Parker Sir Douglas Dodds-Parker , Cheltenham

Will the right hon. Gentleman remove the foreign advisers to the Economic Ministers?