§ 26. Mr. EVERARD
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies how many civil servants in Hong Kong are affected by the alteration of their remuneration from the sterling to the dollar basis; and what reduction of income this entails?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Dr. Drummond Shiels)
The number of civil servants affected by the new rates of converting sterling salaries into dollars is approximately 930. The reduction in income calculated in dollars is 16⅔ per cent. in each case.
§ Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
Is it a fact that these civil servants were appointed on a sterling basis; and has-their consent been obtained to payment on a dollar basis?
§ Dr. SHIELS
I have explained this matter, in reply to previous questions. As the hon. Member is aware, the financial position in Hong Kong is very serious, and arrangements were made to make the readjustment as easy as possible, and with every consideration for those who have remitted part of their salaries. A financial commission is at present in Hong Kong investigating the currency position, and it will all be reconsidered at an early date.
§ Dr. SHIELS
No, Sir, I do not think that that statement can be justified at all. As hon. Members are aware, Hong Kong has a special currency and, under local conditions, it went down to a very low level. I do not think that this could be termed a breach of contract.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
Will the hon. Gentleman answer my question? Was the consent of the civil servants obtained to the change-over to the dollar basis?