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British Embassy Attaches

Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 13 May 1947

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asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many labour, press, agricultural and food attaches have been appointed to British embassies during the past year; what are the total salaries of all such attaches; what is the total and pay of the special staffs assisting them; and whether appointments of any further attaches for other subjects are to be expected.

As the answer contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Does not the Minister agree that the attachment of these assorted attaches to various embassies and legations is something quite new in peacetime, and is it not a fact that the Government are trying to find jobs for various displaced persons who have been made redundant?

No, Sir. Actually the number employed is very small, and they are all doing an exceedingly good job of work.

Following is the answer:

On 1st April, 1946, responsibility for information and publicity was taken over by the Foreign Office, since when this work has been conducted by information officers, who are not attaches but members of the Foreign Service.

The following is the number of appointments made to British embassies, delegations, political missions and consulates-general since 1st May, 1946:

Labour attachés8
Agricultural attachés2
Food attachésNil
Information officers5

The total salaries of all existing labour, food and agricultural attaches amount to £26,870, and of their special assistants to £21,084. The total salaries of information officers amount to £48,547, and of their assistants (United Kingdom based) to £189,129

Further appointments of attaches dealing with other subjects are not at present contemplated.