§ LORD SHERFIELD
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements they have decided to make, in accordance with the recommendations of the Review Committee on Overseas Representation, for the payment of improved compensation terms to members of Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service who became redundant as a result of changes in the structure of that Service.]
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE (LORD SHEPHERD)
My Lords, the question of redundancy compensation for Diplomatic Service officers is under consideration by an inter-Depart-mental Working Group which was formed to study the subject of compensation for premature retirement in the context of a general review of Civil Service superannuation. The views expressed in the Dun-can Report are being fully taken into account and the Working Group is expected to submit its recommendations shortly.
§ LORD SHERFIELD
My Lords, arising out of that Answer, may I ask whether the noble Lord is aware that in the Committee's opinion an important question of morale is involved here? If there is to be any further restructuring or reduction of the Foreign Service on the lines recommended by the Committee, it is essential that the terms of compensation in these pending cases should be regarded by the Service as a whole as fair and generous. Will the noble Lord further bear in mind that the Committee regarded an improved 1036 compensation payment in these cases as directly related to their other proposals for reform?
§ LORD GORE-BOOTH
My Lords, may I ask whether the Government are fully aware that these people were retired prematurely in an emergency situation, and would not have been retired under any previous legislation, so that for general reasons, as well as those mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Sherfield, it is extremely important not only that justice should be done to them but also that it should be clearly seen to be done?
§ LORD BLYTON
My Lords, on the question of redundancy, is my noble friend aware that I hope that the same justice will be given to these people as has been given to the miners?