On this day in 1982, our front page featured a story about "widespread unease" from foreign affairs officers regarding the effectiveness of the Department of Foreign Affairs and their own career prospects.
A nine-page letter from the Foreign Affairs Association was sent to the Secretary of the department, Mr Peter Henderson.
The letter detailed the major problems in the department, alleging that up to 20 per cent of ambassadors were not sufficiently competent to hold their jobs and that speeches delivered by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Street, sometimes lacked "coherence" and "vision" because the department did not have an effective speech-writing unit.
They said a "full-scale review" of management techniques and procedures within the department was necessary.
The letter said that in policy areas the department often produced a product of a "nebulous nature".
A new policy and practice on postings and placements was "urgently required" because they often reflected "traditional notions leading to almost random or arbitrary rotation of officers", the letter read.
They called for a policy-planning unit to be reintroduced, with significant speech-writing capability.
"The current procedure of farming out parts of the speeches to be drafted by relevant branches guarantees that the speech thus prepared will lack underlying coherence, let alone vision."
The department was "far too sensitive and timid about public debate" and the association argued that security classifications should be reduced.