§ Debate resumed on the Motion that the Regulations be approved.
I understand that this would be a convenient moment to reply to a question about the precise 853 effect of these Regulations which the noble Lord, Lord Morrison of Lambeth, put to me earlier this afternoon. Before doing so, may I say how grateful I am to have the opportunity of doing so now as I gather that it is desirable that we should if possible approve these Regulations to-day. I regret that I was not able to give the noble Lord earlier the precise information which he requested. He asked me whether these new Regulations would apply to police officers who in the past had been seat abroad and who had, indeed, rendered very valuable service abroad—for instance in Malaya and in Cyprus. I have since looked at the position. If noble Lords wish me to explain it in detail, I will try to do so but, in any event, I can assure noble Lords that all officers who are sent abroad who are members of formed police units have been covered by the police pension code in the past and will remain so covered in future. These new Regulations do not affect their pension entitlement in any way.
However, there is another category, to which I referred in my earlier statement—officers who have gone, or will go, abroad on individual assignments. Up till now, they have remained for pension purposes on the strength of their home police forces. This has been a somewhat anomalous and artificial arrangement. The new Regulations put them in precisely the same position as members of the formed police unit sent, ox to be sent, abroad. I hope that noble Lords will feel, as we do, that these new arrangements safeguard the interests of all concerned.
§ VISCOUNT ALEXANDER OF HILLSBOROUGH
My Lords, I am obliged to the noble Earl for giving the House so clear an explanation. I have only one point to make. I should like to know whether the last but one of the noble Earl's statements covers the general body of police who were sent abroad before the 1958 Act was passed. The noble Earl will remember that this was a point put by my noble friend. If it does cover them all, even prior to 1958, there is no further objection.
Yes, my Lords, I can give the noble Viscount the Leader of the Opposition that assurance.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.