HC Deb 14 January 1964 vol 687 cc5-6
7. Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation what was the amount expended in respect of former civil servants' pensions and compensation, for loss of office during the year ended April, 1963; and what percentage this formed of the assistance to former colonial Territories.

Mr. R. Carr

The net cost to Her Majesty's Government in the financial year 1962–63 of all payments—including loans—in respect of pensions and compensation of retired civil servants of former Colonial Territories which were independent or became independent during that period was £9½ million. This represented 25 per cent. of Her Majesty's Government's total aid in that year to all former Colonial Territories.

Mr. Boyden

Is not this a very high percentage and since, naturally, it detracts from the direct aid available for these territories, may I ask the Minister whether it would not be better if more energetic steps were taken to provide alternative employment, especially for younger civil servants who have a reasonable career in front of them?

Mr. Carr

These energetic steps are taken for those who come back. It is important, not just for our people, but for the countries in which they are working, that as many of them as are wanted in those countries should be maintained there, and an essential condition of that is that there should be a real feeling of security about pensions and compensation payments. I therefore believe that this is genuine aid. It ought to be kept in perspective, because although it was 25 per cent. of the aid for some Colonial Territories, it represented only 7 per cent. of the United Kingdom's total bilateral aid in 1962–63.