HC Deb 08 March 1966 vol 725 cc1886-7
19. Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government about payments to the Central African Pension Fund; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Cledwyn Hughes

Her Majesty's Government's policy is that payments should continue to be made in accordance with the various instruments concluded at the time of, or shortly after, the dissolution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles

Can the hon. Gentleman explain why this appears not to be happening?

Mr. Hughes

The responsibility for this—and this is a matter which has been discussed for a long time before the illegal declaration of independence, as the hon. and gallant Member knows—lies primarily with the Rhodesian authorities. Calls on the fund have for some time now exceeded its income, and last summer the trustees asked the authorities in the three territories to assist. The Governments of Zambia and Malawi have been uniformly helpful.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Will the hon. Gentleman consider making a little more information public about this? Although I am not saying that the fault lies solely with Her Majesty's Government here—there are certainly faults on the other side as well—is the Minister aware that this is a matter which needs clearing up and that there is a feeling that we are stopping funds going, although this may be for technical reasons? Will the hon. Gentleman see if there is some way of making the matter clearer?

Mr. Hughes

We stand by our commitment to contribute 25 per cent. of any necessary replenishments should the present actuarial investigation which is going on reveal a deficit. We shall be very ready to examine any constructive proposals which may be made.

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