Foreign Languages: Economic Value - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:40 pm on 29th March 2022.

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Photo of Lord Sherbourne of Didsbury Lord Sherbourne of Didsbury Conservative 2:40 pm, 29th March 2022

Has my noble friend seen the evidence given just a few days ago by a former British ambassador to Moscow to a Lords committee, in which he lamented the decline of foreign language skills in the Foreign Office, especially Russian? Does she agree that it is quite important that diplomats who represent the United Kingdom in and promote exports to foreign countries should be able to understand and speak a foreign language? Can she therefore tell the House what progress has been made to improve foreign language skills in the Foreign Office?