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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the means by which his Department secures its objectives of promoting and protecting British interests overseas; how he is monitoring their implementation; and if he will make a statement.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office departments and posts work to agreed objectives and their performance is subject to regular assessment and review. This permits flexibility in our response to changing circumstances, such as the steadily increasing demand for commercial activities.
I am delighted to say that we have recently instituted a diplomatic wing top management system which requires posts, departments and under-secretaries to examine their objectives and performance in time for each annual expenditure survey. This is a major new management tool, which supplements the existing arrangements.
How were British interests protected in Iran in 1980 when the British ambassador evicted five American citizens from the residential compound of the British embassy? Is the Minister aware that that decision was seen as an affront to American public opinion? Is he further aware that there has been a row in North America in the media about what happened four years ago over the hostages crisis? Do the British Government intend to apologise to the American Government for their disgraceful actions?