Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 15th June 2004.

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Photo of Andrew Dismore Andrew Dismore Labour, Hendon 11:30 am, 15th June 2004

May I tell my hon. Friend that I was also a member of the delegation to Brazil? While there, we had the opportunity of visiting the vice-consul in Sao Paulo who had responsibility for dealing with the very serious drugs trade, which passes through Brazil to the UK. While there is good co-operation between the Brazilian authorities and our people in Brazil in dealing with the drugs trade and they have had considerable success, there is little doubt that they are significantly overstretched. Will my hon. Friend talk to the Chancellor to see whether anything can be done to improve the staffing of Customs and Excise officers in Brazil to tackle the drugs trade? We could then have significantly greater success with comparatively little extra investment.