HC Deb 03 December 1941 vol 376 cc1124-6
42. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Under secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of considerable discontent among members of the Nigerian Civil Service and the railway workers respecting revision and increase of salaries and pay; whether, in view of the increased cost of living, he will inquire into the demand for a war bonus and a beneficial revision of salaries; and whether he is satisfied that Sessional Papers Nos. 1 and 2, 1941, will not adversely affect civil servants and make promotion to executive posts more difficult?

Mr. George Hall

As the reply is rather long, I will, with my hon. Friend's per mission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Sorensen

Does the reply of my hon. Friend indicate that some action has been taken regarding the very strong discontent shown by the workers?

Mr. Hall

Yes, Sir. I am sure that my hon. Friend will not be dissatisfied when he receives the reply.

Following is the reply:

It is understood that representations on behalf of the African staff of the Nigerian Civil Service including the railway staff have been made to the Government of Nigeria from time to time. Many improvements in the conditions of service of railway workers were introduced with effect from the 1st of October and my Noble Friend has been in communication with the Governor of Nigeria in regard to possible improvements in the salary scale in the general clerical and technical services.

Quite apart from the question of these improvements, the Governor has ap pointed a special committee to consider the adequacy or otherwise of rates of pay of labour, and of African Government servants and employees in the township of Lagos, having regard to any increase in cost of living which may have occurred since the outbreak of war, and to make recommendations as follow:

  1. (a) Whether a temporary increase by way of bonus or other addition to pay should be made.
  2. (b,) Whether any form of relief is desirable, such as, for example, (i) free meals at work; (ii) provision of good and cheap meals on purchase; (iii) stricter price control; (iv) rent restriction; (v) provision of quarters or assisted scheme for tenements.

Provincial wages committees also have been requested to submit recommendations as to whether existing minimum rates of pay should be raised.

As regards the third part of my hon. Friend's Question, Sessional Paper No. 1 of 1941 is a statement incorporating the decisions and modifications of the terms and service of the clerical, technical and subordinate staff of the local Civil Ser vice which have been made since the issue of Sessional Paper No. 19 of 1935. Sessional Paper No. 2 of 1941 is a statement of the standard salary scales and terms of appointment for an intermediate division of the Civil Service for officials locally recruited. The creation of an intermediate division of the Civil Service is one of the principal measures whereby it is hoped to foster the training of Africans to take an increasing share and responsibility in the Government Service with the ultimate object of relieving more highly paid European personnel of the accumulating volume of routine duties with which they are normally burdened. My Noble Friend sees no reason to sup pose that the statements in these two Sessional Papers are not in the best interests of the Nigerian Civil Service.

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