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Departmental Staff

Volume 929: debated on Thursday 7 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give his estimate of the percentage of persons employed in his Department who left the Department in 1976 for reasons other than having reached retirement age.

Employees of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office—including locally engaged staff—work not only in the United Kingdom but in 120 countries abroad. The information required to answer the Question fully is not readily available in London, and to assemble it would require consultation with posts in many countries overseas. Such a process would be disproportionately expensive. However, information readily available shows that of the persons in the mainstream grades (1–10) of the Diplomatic Service approximately 3·5 per cent. left in 1976 for reasons other than normal retirement, for example, because of premature retirement in the public interest, death and resignation. Of the senior grades (1–4) approximately 3 per cent. were retired prematurely in the public interest.