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Departmental Personnel (Children's Holiday Visit Passages)

Volume 976: debated on Wednesday 16 January 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the approximate cost of holiday visit passages paid in respect of children of Foreign Office personnel in receipt of education allowances in addition to any aid paid for travelling expenses for the latest year available.

During the financial year 1978–79 approximately £790,000 was spent from public funds on fares for children of Foreign and Commonwealth Office employees being educated in the United Kingdom to visit their parents overseas during the school holidays. (This figure excludes the staff of the Overseas Development Administration, about whom the hon. Member has tabled a separate question.) No other expenses in connection with these journeys are chargeable to public funds.I regret that the figure of £694,453 which I gave the hon. Member in answer to his similar question on 26 July 1979 did not include expenditure on members of the Diplomatic Service communications division, whose costs are accounted separately. The figure now given includes expenditure on these staff, as do all the other figures given in my answer of 26 July.