HC Deb 07 July 1960 vol 626 cc670-1
7. Lord Balniel

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what assurances he gave the delegation of the Kenya Civil Service, at their meeting with him on 27th June on the future of Kenya civil servants when the country becomes independent.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I told the delegation that the undertakings given in Colonial No. 306 would, at the appropriate time, apply without qualification to the Kenya Civil Service, but that I recognised that these undertakings, which were given in 1954, might not fully meet the present situation and I was therefore considering whether any further action by Her Majesty's Government was practicable. I also told the delegation that in other territories a clear distinction had been drawn between the responsibilities of Her Majesty's Government for the Overseas Civil Service and for locally recruited members of the Civil Service, but that I recognised that in Kenya the local Civil Service presented exceptional problems of which full account would be taken.

Lord Balniel

That is good news, but in view of the very difficult situation in Kenya at the moment, would not my right hon. Friend agree that the maintenance of the morale in the Kenya Civil Service is just about the most important thing that is needed at the moment? Will he consider very carefully indeed whether some form of guarantee of a contract of service cannot be given before the goal of independence is reached?

Mr. Macleod

I certainly agree with my noble Friend's first point. On the second point, the undertakings, given in Colonial No. 306 have been observed to the full in all the half-dozen territories which have become independent or have moved towards independence since that date, and they will apply in full to Kenya. However, as I have indicated, there are special circumstances in Kenya, particularly in regard to the locally recruited members, but I have given an undertaking that at the appropriate time those undertakings will be taken into account.

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