HC Deb 18 June 1954 vol 528 cc165-6W
Mr. Iremonger

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what steps were taken to bring to the notice of uncovenanted servants of the Government of India who had retired between the transfer of power and 18th November, 1948, the statement made by the then Lord Privy Seal on 6th July, 1949, HANSARD, House of Lords, column 949; how many lump sums have been paid as a result of the statement; what have been the maximum, the minimum and the average amounts paid, expressed as a percentage of the capital value of the amount of pension lost, assuming a yield of 5 per cent. per annum; and whether he will give an assurance that the statement of 6th July, 1949, still represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. J. Foster

An explanatory letter, containing guidance for making a claim, was sent to all persons likely to be interested whose names were known to. or brought to the notice of, the Commonwealth Relations Office. Parallel action was taken through the United Kingdom High Commissioners in India and Pakistan.

The number of awards made to date is 111. They range from £70 to £2,760, and average £714. Figures in the percentage form mentioned are not available, and would, in any case, be misleading, since not all the awards are in lieu of a lost expectation of pension. Some are related to the "special contributions" ordinarily added to provident fund accumulations on quitting the service, but forfeited by premature retirement.

They have regard generally to the value of the retirement benefits that would have been admissible under the premature retirement scheme of the Governments of India and Pakistan had it been made retrospective to the transfer of power, and include (in some cases it is the only element) an allowance for passages where not provided by those Governments. The scheme is still in operation.