asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what would be the approximate reduction in the number of interest-free car loans to members of the Diplomatic Service if such loans were available only on first posting abroad and not on each posting abroad.
If car loans were available to members of the Diplomatic Service only on their first posting abroad, and if all such officers applied for loans, the total number of loans outstanding at any one time would be in the region of 500. This compares with the figure of 864 loans actually outstanding on 28th February 1977, which I gave my hon. Friend in my reply on 15th March. I should make it clear that car loans are at present not payable to staff on each posting abroad, but normally only after a period of duty in the United Kingdom.