§ 30. Mr. Wingfield Digby
asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many British officials have so far been selected to serve on the staff of the European Economic Community Commission; and how many were previously civil servants.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Civil Service Department (Mr. Kenneth Baker)
Apart from those in the Commission's existing linguistic services, no British staff have yet been appointed by the European Commission as a consequence of the enlargement of the Communities.
§ Mr. Baker
I welcome the last comment; they were encouraging words from my hon. Friend. The Government are not dragging their feet. The process of selection is going ahead. It is the Commission which makes these appointments, not the British Government. In the course of the next year, as the House knows, there will be 600 to 700 posts to fill in Brussels, and we are very keen that many of those people will not be civil servants but will come from private industry, the nationalised industries, trade unions and a whole range of British life.
§ Mr. Marten
But if, as appears to be the case, it is the Commission which is dragging its feet, would not this be a splendid opportunity to delay entry into the Common Market until it stops?
§ Mr. Baker
My hon. Friend never gives up. Advertisements have already 1003 appeared in the British Press—for example, for graduate entrants A.6 and A.7 grades for the Commission—and the European Investment Bank has advertised. A great deal of interviewing and selection is proceeding on these fronts.