asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps are being taken to increase salaries of members of His Majesty's Foreign Service in order to enable them more adequately to represent this country abroad and to meet the rising cost of living while serving at home.
Certain revisions in the salary scales for members of the Foreign Service are being introduced, with effect from 1st August last. In addition, allowances are made to meet expenditure for representation abroad. These allowances are constantly reviewed, in the light of changing conditions, such as the cost of living. When they are serving at home, officers of the Foreign Service receive allowances to meet the rise in the cost of living. These allowances are on the same basis as those granted to the Home Civil Service.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that new entrants to the Foreign Service are being offered employment at the rate of £275 per annum for a start, and does he think this is compatible with the general intention to widen the scope of entry into the Foreign Service?
Perhaps the hon. Member would put that question on the Paper. There must be allowances in addition if the persons are serving abroad.
Do the allowances to members of the Foreign Service abroad vary according to the exchange rates in different countries?
I think allowance is made for exchange rates, but if the hon. and gallant Gentleman would like to have details, I should be glad to circulate them in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Will my right hon. Friend consider giving the House an opportunity of discussing the new rates of pay for the Foreign Service which, in the view of many of us, are grossly inadequate?
Nothing would please me better, but both the hon. Member and I would have to consult other authorities.