HC Deb 29 May 1946 vol 423 cc199-200W
Mr. Cooper

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is now in a position to make a statement on the organisation of the Colonial Service.

Mr. Stanley

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can now make a statement regarding the future organisation of the Colonial Service.

Mr. George Hall

Yes, Sir. I would invite attention to two Papers which are being issued this afternoon as non-Parliamentary publications. The first deals with the general principles of organisation which in my view should be adopted to enable the Colonial Service to discharge efficiently its duties in present conditions. It is to be remembered that each Colony has its own public service and that the Colonial Service is a name for these separate public services considered as a whole. The Paper emphasises the need for improving the opportunities for Colonial people to staff the public services of their own countries. At the same time the Colonies need considerable numbers of recruits from this country and the Dominions, and the Paper lays down certain general principles for the employment of such officers which I should like the respective Colonial Governments to embody in their local arrangements for salaries and conditions of service.

I have come to the conclusion that, apart from the general services which it renders in recruiting staff and supervising their distribution, His Majesty's Government can best assist the Colonial Governments in this matter by organising and contributing to the cost of schemes of training. Accordingly out of the money available under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act I have allocated £1million for enabling people from the Colonies to obtain the basic qualifications necessary for entry into the higher grades of the public services and £1½ million for giving selected candidates, whatever their origin, the further special training which they need to fit them for their particular work.

Details of the special training schemes to which this £1½ million is allocated are given in the second Paper, which embodies the report of a committee appointed by my predecessor under the chairmanship of the Duke of Devonshire, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State. I take this opportunity of thanking the chairman and members of that committee and the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London for the generous help which they are giving in this important matter.