HC Deb 26 April 1961 vol 639 cc399-400
14. Mr. Tilney

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he has now heard from Her Majesty's Ambassador in Mogadishu regarding the negotiations with the Somali Republic about the pensions to be paid to former colonial civil servants in British Somaliland; and whether these will now be brought up to the level of the United Kingdom Pensions (Increase) Act, 1959.

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Edward Heath)

I regret that I cannot yet add to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend on 20th March.

Mr. Tilney

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I had considerable correspondence with the Minister of State for the Colonies some time before British Somaliland attained independence, and that I was assured that the matter of pensions was being looked into? Yet nothing was done. Does not he agree that this sort of thing is possibly the worst advertisement for keeping people in the service of the Crown overseas?

Mr. Heath

As my hon. Friend knows, this matter was raised with Somaliland Ministers. In the short time available before independence it was not possible for them to introduce legislation, and in any case it was their view that such legislation before independence might have led to misunderstanding or criticism. Since then we have been in contact with the Somaliland Government, and I am hopeful that we shall be able to reach a settlement.