asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what allowances are at present granted to members of His Majesty's Diplomatic Service for the purchase of diplomatic uniforms; whether coupons are specially granted for this purpose; and whether ambassadors when first appointed are given any special facilities for obtaining the necessary uniforms for official functions outside this country.
The new Foreign Service Regulations provide that new entrants into the Foreign Service shall receive the actual cost of their uniform and that all officers shall receive the cost of altering their uniform on promotion in rank. Only in exceptional circumstances can the cost of a second new uniform be borne by public funds. When a new uniform or the alteration of an existing uniform is authorised the necessary coupons are also provided. No other special facilities appear to be required for obtaining uniforms, but these would be granted if necessary.
Would that exclude the fact that, in possibly 15 or 20 years' time, people's figures might change?
I shall rely on Mr. Moss to adjust that.
May I ask the Foreign Secretary whether he will ask the Soviet Government to release some of the three miles of gold braid which they recently ordered from this country?
I think the uniforms, without gold braid, of some of our Services are much better.