HC Deb 17 April 1959 vol 603 cc104-5W
Mr. Benn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the policy which led to the introduction of the 45 Rule in the Overseas Civil Service whereby officers over 45 years of age are to be compulsorily retired by certain colonial Governments without any reason being assigned and under which officers may then elect to retire voluntarily after reaching the age of 45.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The 45 year rule was first introduced by the Governments of the West African territories in 1947 following representations by the local service associations, European and African, that officers should be allowed to retire after reaching the age of 45. The rule was introduced to meet these representations and also to enable Governments to call upon officers to retire after reaching the age of 45 in cases where it was felt that retirement was desirable in the public interest. The rule was subsequently introduced for the same reasons by the Governments of certain other territories.

Mr. Benn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) how many officers have been compulsorily retired by colonial Governments under the 45 Rule during the last five years; and in how many of these instances have officers concerned received any previous warning, either verbally or in writing, that their retirement was contemplated;

(2) on how many occasions during the last five years officers have been invited to retire voluntarily and informed that if they do not do so they would be compulsorily retired under the 45 Rule; in how many of these instances were the officers concerned formally warned, either verbally or in writing, that this action was contemplated, so that they might have an opportunity of making good their alleged shortcomings, and how long were the officers concerned given to decide whether they wished to retire voluntarily or to be retired compulsorily.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The information required for these two Questions is not available and I am reluctant to ask the Governments concerned to undertake the considerable research that would be required to provide it. If, however, the hon. Member is interested in any particular case or in any particular territory I will, of course, make the necessary inquiries.

1st January, 1945 to 31st December, 1951 1st January, 1952 to 31st December, 1958
New school's Started 27 46
Completed 17 52
New school places Started 9,370 17,970
Completed 6,330 19,150
Note: New places provided by minor works and huts built specially for the raising of the school-leaving age are omitted, since comparative figures are not available.

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