§ 9. Mr. Tilney
asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether he will consider taking over the pensions of all ex-members of Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service so as to overcome the diffi 1456 culties of some developing countries of the Commonwealth, the time lag over Income Tax reclaims, and the effect of devaluation.
§ Mr. Tilney
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that many members of Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service are suffering greatly through delays in the repayment of Income Tax wrongly deducted by countries like Ceylon; and that they are also suffering from devaluation if they are living in countries outside England, in territories of the Commonwealth which have not devalued and where Income Tax has been increased? Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the Government are giving any consideration to the request made by the Government of Tanzania that the British Government should take over these pensions?
§ Mr. Oram
On the first point, it is true, particularly in relation to Ceylon, that there have been delays, which I recognise cause difficulties for pensioners, but we do take all action that is open to us to take to put forward the representations of these pensioners to the Ceylon Government. The effect of devaluation is a complex issue, according to whether or not the countries concerned have devalued. It is really too early to give a general statement about the position, but if the hon. Gentleman has any particular problems in mind, perhaps he will write, or put down a further Question. As I stated in my reply to the hon. Gentleman on 9th November, the position in Tanzania is still being considered.
§ Mr. Rankin
I gather from what the hon. Gentleman has said that this disability falls on people who live outside England. Does it also fall on those who live outside Scotland?
§ Mr. Braine
The Minister has just said that it is too early to make a statement about the position. We fully understand that. But is he aware that what we on this side want to know is whether the Government are considering the point?
§ Mr. Tilney
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I beg to give notice that owing 1457 to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply I wish to raise the matter on the Adjournment.