§ 37. Captain HACKING
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the fact that an Order in Council is a provision of law, and that Section 4 of the Consular Service Order in Council of 1916 empowers Consular officers at that date in the service to remain in the service till the age of seventy years, unless they can be shown to be incompetent, and that the Civil Service Order in Council of 1910 conserves for Civil servants then in the service this right, privilege, and exemption, he will state under what authority he can call upon a Consular officer who is fully competent for the performance of his duties, who is under sixty-five years of age, and who has been in the Consular Service previous to 1896, to retire?
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir HAMAR GREENWOOD (Secretary of the Department of Overseas Trade—Development and Intelligence)
There is no Consular Service Order in Council of 1916. If the Consular Service Order in Council of 6th March, 1896, is meant, Section 4 of that Order lays down that a Consular officer appointed before that date must retire at seventy, and officers appointed after that date at sixty-five. The Order in Council of 1910 confirms this, but neither of these Orders limits the power of the Secretary of State 21 to retire a Consular officer at any time, as explained in my reply to the hon. and gallant Member of 26th November.
§ Captain HACKING
What is the value of an Order in Council if it can be upset at the whim of a Government Department?
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that no Order in Council has been upset, but the Secretary of State has the right to retire a Consular officer at any time. I explained the matter fully in my last answer to the hon. and gallant Member's question.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
No. It is based on the right of the Secretary of State acting under the Sovereign to do this very serious duty within his own discretion.