HC Deb 04 March 1942 vol 378 cc628-9
23. Dr. Morgan

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Sir Hanns Vischer, a Swiss born in Basle in 1876, is still being employed by the Colonial Office in any capacity or as Joint Secretary of the Colonial Education Advisory Committee, or whether, having regard to his age, he has been retired and, if so, on what pension; whether he still receives a separate pension as a former director of education in Nigeria; on what grounds this foreign-born official was given an appointment in a British Colony and in the Colonial Office; and whether, in future, entry into the Colonial Service will be reserved for British or Colonial applicants?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

Major Sir Hanns Vischer retired at the end of 1939 from the post of Joint Secretary to the Advisory Committee on Education in the Colonies, and he has not since been employed by the Colonial Office. Sir Hanns, who was born in Switzerland in 1876, has been a naturalised British subject since 1903. He first went to Nigeria as a missionary in 1901. In 1903 he was appointed to the Northern Nigeria Administrative Service and subsequently became Director of Education in Northern Nigeria. He served with distinction in the British Army in the last war. He retired on pension from the Nigerian service on grounds of ill-health, in 1919. His subsequent employment with the Advisory Committee on Education was not pensionable. Sir Hanns was selected for the posts which he has held on account of his exceptional qualifications, and I am glad to have this opportunity of paying tribute to the work of a most distinguished public servant.

Dr. Morgan

Are there not other Colonial-born individuals and Englishmen who could have done this work efficiently and just as well?

Mr. Hannah

Have we not naturalised people in this very House?

Dr. Morgan

We have not on this side of the House, as far as I know.

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