HC Deb 20 March 1958 vol 584 cc1406-7
14. Mr. Peyton

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the recent dismissal of Mr. George Skelt from his employment by the Singapore City Council.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am told that on 13th February the Staff Committee of the Singapore City Council held Mr. Skelt to be guilty of contravening the rules of conduct and discipline laid down for City Council employees, and recommended his dismissal from the Council's service. On 28th February the City Council confirmed the recommendation of the Staff Committee. I understand that an appeal to the City Council against this decision has been lodged on behalf of Mr. Skelt by the City Council Senior Officers' Association.

Mr. Peyton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this case appears to be one of victimisation; that a British subject with a good reputation extending over many years of service is being made the victim of a shabby trick in order to get rid of him as cheaply as possible? Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the necessity to give expatriate British subjects the confidence of having the support of Her Majesty's Government in the difficult positions and jobs in which they find themselves?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I fully understand the need to give confidence to expatriates in Singapore and elsewhere. My constitutional position in relation to employees of Government agencies is one which I have tried to explain in this House on previous occasions. As in this case there is an appeal pending, I think it better if I do not make any comments this afternoon.