HC Deb 11 June 1947 vol 438 cc1060-1
39. Mr. William Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has yet been able to reach a decision with the Government of Palestine about ex-members of the Palestine Police Force receiving a free credit of unemployment insurance contributions.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Creech Jones)

I have carefully considered this matter in consultation with the High Commissioner for Palestine. There are wide differences in the terms of service of the Palestine Police as compared with those members of the Armed Forces who are entitled to a free credit of unemployment insurance contributions on discharge. Their pay and allowances are very much higher than in the Services, and they have the option of continuing with the Force on a long-term basis if they so desire. Moreover, they serve under civilian contract with the Government of Palestine and are, therefore, properly classed for this purpose with other civilians employed outside the United Kingdom, to whom no such concession in regard to unemployment insurance contributions applies. In these circumstances, it has not been thought necessary to arrange for a free credit of unemployment insurance contributions to members of the Palestine Police Force.

Mr. Teeling

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that his answer will cause considerable disappointment, not only to ex-policemen from Palestine, but also to those who are now serving, and who ought to be receiving the greatest possible support from him?

Mr. Creech Jones

I appreciate the magnificent work these men are doing, but if the hon. Member will study my reply I am sure he will agree that there is a very real difference between military service and the police force.

Mr. Hogg

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that only recently there was a widespread poster campaign in this country, urging people to do their national service with this Force? As some may have been misled by that campaign, will tie see that any who may have done so are given terms equivalent to those in national service, or at least as good?

Mr. Creech Jones

I do not accept the hon. Member's suggestion, and I think he must be under a complete misapprehension in regard to the terms of employment of members of this Force.