HC Deb 24 November 1959 vol 614 cc180-1
17. Mr. J. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what reply has been sent to the letter of protest sent to the Nyasaland Government by the Nyasaland Trade Union Congress, concerning the dismissal of African civil servants who felt unable to transfer to the federal service; how many such refusals there were; and what steps are being taken to provide those concerned with suitable alternative posts in Nyasaland.

Mr. Iain Macleod

There was no question of dismissal, and the Nyasaland Trades Union Congress has been informed that no one was obliged to resign. Seconded officers had been given a period of five years in which to decide whether to accept transfer to the federal service or to seek employment elsewhere. Five hundred and eighty-eight African officers declined to transfer, and as many of these as possible have been reabsorbed into the Nyasaland Government service.

Mr. Hynd

Do I understand from the Minister that at the expiration of these five years any civil servants who have not accepted transfer will be dismissed? Can he tell us on what grounds such a decision will be taken when there is, apparently, no charge against these civil servants in connection with the services for which they accepted employment? Is this an example of British protection?

Mr. Macleod

I think that the situation arises from the Order in Council of 1953. Because a number of the Departments were transferred with rather specialised posts, the suggestion was made that the officers holding those posts should be transferred with them, and after an initial period of two years' secondment they were given the five-year option to which I have referred. That period is now up.

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