§ 17. Mr. Houghton
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what are the reasons for the delay in granting pensions increases to retired Malta civil servants; and whether he will now instruct the Government of Malta to make proposals to the staff association concerned.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Julian Amery)
Representations made in February for increases in the level of bonus paid to pensioners were considered by a special Committee set up for the purpose. Representatives of the pensioners appeared before this Committee. The Committee's recommendations are now being considered by the Government of Malta.
§ 18. Mr. Houghton
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will now instruct the Government of Malta to place on the agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Whitley Council the recommendations of Sir Arton Wilson's report of 1956 relating to pensionable status for clerk-typists.
§ Mr. J. Amery
No, Sir. The agenda for meetings of the Malta Government Joint Council are a matter for agreement between the Official and Staff Sides of that Council.
§ Mr. Houghton
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there seems to be some breakdown in the relations between the Government of Malta and the representatives of the Civil Service staffs? Why are these matters conducted at arms length? Why is there difficulty in discussing on a Whitley Council in Malta matters which are quite appropriate for discussion on a Whitley Council in this country?
§ Mr. Amery
As the hon. Gentleman knows, this matter has had a long and difficult history. First, there was the Wilson Commission and then the Water-field Commission. Since then Mr. Elwood was appointed to examine and make recommendations. His recommendations have been submitted to the Malta Government and have been applied without prejudice to any subsequent arbitration or negotiations on individual scales. I understand that Mr. Elwood is currently engaged on an 696 examination of the grading structure and has submitted an interim report. Until this has been considered, I should not like to be drawn further.