HC Deb 12 April 1962 vol 657 cc1482-3
17. Mr. Tilney

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps were taken to inform ex-members of the Colonial and Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Services, on first appointment, that the responsibility to pay pensions lay with overseas Governments.

Mr. Maudling

An offer of appointment is made to the public service of a particular territory. It is accompanied by a statement of the principal conditions of service in that territory, and these show that pensions are awarded under the legislations of that territory.

Mr. Tilney

Can my right hon. Friend say whether that has always been the case? The Colonial White Paper of 1954 set out that Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service was one Service under the Crown. Does he not agree that the remarks in another place of his predecessor, Lord Boyd, hardly support what he has just said?

Mr. Maudling

I have looked into this question, but I cannot see any discrepancy between the White Paper of 1954 and this system which, I gather, has always applied; that actual pensions legislation is the responsibility of the particular Government. I have looked at specimen documents given to people who axe being recruited, and I think that it is made quite clear that it is on the individual Government of the territory that the pensions responsibility rests.

Mr. G. M. Thomson

But is it not the fact that recruits to the Overseas Civil Service accept their position on the assumption that their general security, including their pensions, is ultimately the responsibility of Her Majesty's Government here? Would not the Colonial Secretary look at this subject again, on the lines suggested from these benches, that it would be helpful for Her Majesty's Government to take over a much larger measure of responsibility for these pensions?

Mr. Maudling

That is a very different question. The point here is Whether people, on taking up their appointments, are clearly informed about this and, on investigation, I am satisfied that they have been clearly informed.

Forward to