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Diplomatic Service

Volume 82: debated on Tuesday 2 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he has taken since 22 November 1984 to increase resources for and reduce pressure on the Diplomatic Service.

The arrangement described in Cmnd. 9367 by which overseas price movements are fully taken into account in the public expenditure survey as well as during the year has been finalised. Arrangements are now in place to enable sales of property overseas to be used for the rationalisation of the overseas estate. Beyond that we cannot anticipate the result of the public expenditure survey, which will, as usual, be made known in my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer's annual Autumn Statement.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, in the light of recent cuts in resources allocated to the Diplomatic Service, it remains the Government's intention to maintain a global foreign policy; and if he will make a statement.

Adjustments to Foreign and Commonwealth Office programmes for 1985–86 led to a marginal reduction in geographical coverage with the closure of 10 small overseas posts. We are satisfied, however, that this has not significantly impaired our ability to pursue an active worldwide foreign policy.