HC Deb 12 April 1937 vol 322 cc592-3
12. Sir John Mellor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any further statement to make with regard to the position and prospects of the British officers and constables of the Egyptian City Police whose services have been, or shortly will be, terminated in consequence of the provisions of the Anglo-Egyptian treaty; and whether he is satisfied that the terms offered to these men for service in the British section of the Palestine Police and the Malta Dockyard Police are reasonable having regard to their experience?

Viscount Cranborne

I regret that I am at present unable to supplement the very full statement which my right hon. Friend made on 10th March. It will be realised that in many cases it is impossible for the British officers and constables of the Egyptian Police to secure fresh employment while they are still in the service of the Egyptian Government, since they are not available for interviews outside Egypt and may, in any case, require some time in which to consider the merits of such offers as they may receive. I can, however, assure my hon. Friend that everything possible is being done to secure fresh and suitable employment for these men. As regards the second part of the question, it will be realised that to offer to the ex-constables more favourable rates of pay than those offered to other candidates for a service in the British section of the Palestine Police and the Malta Dockyard Police would entail discrimination. I understand that there is no lack of suitable candidates for these forces, and the terms offered must, therefore, be considered as reasonable.

Sir J. Mellor

Is it not a fact that the lowest-paid British constable in Egypt has been receiving 18 Egyptian pounds a month and that the offers in Palestine have been mainly in a temporary force at 11 Palestine pounds a month and, in the case of the Malta Dockyard Police, £8 a month; and in view of these circumstances, does not the Noble Lord think it would be a great pity if the services of these men were lost to the Empire in view of their exceptional experience in handling difficult situations?

Viscount Cranborne

My hon. Friend will understand that if you have various applicants for particulars posts, they must all be offered the same remuneration. You could not offer one man more than another man, so that in these particular cases they must be on the same basis.

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