HC Deb 03 February 1965 vol 705 cc1236-7
Mr. MacDermot

I beg to move, in page 7, line 24, at the end to insert: 6. Employment as an officer to whom the Overseas Service Act 1958 applies (if not employment within any of the other paragraphs in this subsection). The effect of this Amendment is to add those officers to whom the Overseas Service Act, 1958, applies to the lists of employment which Clause 7 declares to be "public offices" and to which the rules under Clause 6 apply.

The Act of 1958 established what have come to be known as the Special Lists of the Overseas Civil Service. Before then, the Colonial Service or the Overseas Civil Service, though appointed on behalf of the Colonial Secretary, were persons employed exclusively by the Governments of the Colonies and overseas territories concerned. Subsequently, many territories were coming up for independence, and members of the staffs tended to feel that their positions were insecure, although it was clearly understood that it was necessary to keep a proportion in their posts in order to see the territories through to independence.

The 1958 Act was introduced with the object of putting Her Majesty's Government in substantially the direct relationship of an employer of overseas staff, and one of the provisions included was to apply the "public office" terms for the transfer of superannuation rights to and from the Civil Service, when appropriate, to all persons to whom that Act applied.

In practice, this scheme has been applied only in Nigeria, but there is a substantial body of staff now serving us on those terms, including many staff of the Post Office who may wish to return to the Post Office in this country, and for whom the home pension rights are particularly important.

That subsection of the 1958 Act repealed in the Fourth Schedule to the Bill is part of the process of sweeping away the old legislation, but the employment of the staff concerned is not specifically referred to in Clause 7(1). One possibility might have been to deal with this group by an Order under Clause 7(2), but, on reflection. it seems inappropriate to ask Parliament to repeal Section 3(2) of the 1958 Act by express legislation and then replace it immediately by subordinate legislation. It was thought, therefore, preferable and more satisfactory to deal with it in the Bill itself. Hence this Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.