HC Deb 26 March 1919 vol 114 cc394-6
33. Brigadier - General Sir OWEN THOMAS

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the great financial hardships suffered by the Civil servants in British East Africa, he will authorise immediate temporary measures to alleviate their position, pending the Report of the Commission he has directed to inquire into all the grievances laid before him in the petition of January, 1918?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Lieutenant-Colonel Amery)

Temporary measures have already been taken by the grant of a war bonus, and it is expected that the Report of the Special Commissioner appointed to inquire into the subject will be received at an early date. If he advises that the war bonus granted is inadequate, the matter will at once be further considered.

34. Sir O. THOMAS

asked whether the average salary of six married first-class highly-trained railway officials of long experience in British East Africa is considerably less than the pay of high-grade engine drivers in England; whether such remuneration is commensurate with the training and experience requisite for railway administration; and whether he is aware that responsible married European officials in the Customs House at Mombasa receive salaries of from £150 to £180, and that the average salary paid to European Customs officials at Mombasa is lower than the average salary paid to Indians holding positions of less responsibility in the same department?

Lieutenant-Colonel AMERY

The examples mentioned in the hon. and gallant Member's question are, I believe, taken from the petition of the members of the public service in British East Africa. The scale of salary for the railway appointments mentioned is £300, rising by £20 annually to £550, and the average of £270 quoted in the petition was obtained by assuming that the local value of the rupee is equivalent to the value of the shilling in this country. As regards the second example, the scale of salary for junior European Customs officials is £150, rising by £10 annually to £250. A comparison with the senior Indian officials of the Customs Department is misleading, as they are at the top of their scale. In addition, it must be remembered that the European Customs officials at Mombasa get free quarters or an allowance in lieu, and that non-European Customs officials are not entitled to this privilege. The hon. and gallant Member is aware that the whole question of Civil Service salaries in East Africa and the representations made by the members of the service are under the consideration of a local Commission of Inquiry.


Do these officials pay Income Tax on these salaries in East Africa?

35. Sir O. THOMAS

asked the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the general scale of remuneration of Civil servants in British East Africa was, before the War, quite inadequate, and that since the War and its attendant increase in the cost of living the majority of these officials, especially if married, are, even with the exercise of rigid economy, unable to live on their pay; whether he is aware that many of these officials, having been married for some years, cannot afford to bring their wives out to East Africa; and whether any, and, if so, how many, East African officials have received the war bonus promised to them?

Lieutenant-Colonel AMERY

I have already mentioned that the general question of the remuneration of the East African Civil Service is being considered by the local Civil Service Commission: Meanwhile the special war bonus approved in July last has, I believe, substantially mitigated the undoubted hardships created by war conditions. I am not aware that there has been any delay in issuing the war bonus approved in July last, and if the hon. and gallant Member's information shows that there are cases in which the bonus has not been issued I shall be glad if he will furnish me with particulars.


Are these bonuses withheld from men spending their leave in England?

Lieutenant-Colonel AMERY

I would like notice of that question.