Press Notice 32, Session 2005-06

28 March 2006

PASC to question Foreign Secretary on Diplomats' Memoirs

PASC - the Public Administration Select Committee - will be taking evidence from the Rt Hon Jack Straw MP on the publication of political memoirs on Wednesday 29 March 2006 at 2.30pm.

The Foreign Secretary recently announced that changes have been made to the Diplomatic Service Regulations relating to the publication of memoirs by serving and former diplomats. Three recently retired diplomats have written their memoirs over the last year, although only one - Sir Christopher Meyer - has so far published them. Mr Straw has been publicly critical of Sir Christopher’s decision to publish. The evidence session will allow the Committee to question Mr Straw about whether such books do damage to the relationship between Ministers and civil servants, and whether changes should be made to the processes for publishing such books.

The evidence session will take place in the Thatcher Room in Portcullis House, Westminster, SW1 at 2.30pm on Wednesday 29 March.

Full details of the Committee’s inquiry into memoirs can be found at


The Committee was nominated on 13 July 2005.  Its terms of reference are to examine the reports of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsmen, and to consider matters relating to the quality and standards of administration provided by Civil Service departments, and other matters relating to the Civil Service. The Membership of the Committee is as follows: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), Julia Goldsworthy (Lib Dem) (Falmouth & Camborne), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Grant Shapps (Con) (Welwyn Hatfield), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

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