HC Deb 21 December 1967 vol 756 cc468-70W
Mr. Gardner

asked the Minister of Overseas Development (1) what amount is allocated under bilateral aid for compensation to overseas officers who continue to serve in the appointments which they held when the countries concerned became independent; and what is the total number of individuals involved;

(2) what amount allocated under bilateral aid to Commonwealth countries for compensation and pensions of overseas officers is for payments being made to British and foreign nationals; and what is the number of individuals concerned;

(3) what is the total commitment towards meeting the share of the cost of compensation and of commutation of pensions for overseas officers borne by Governments of Commonwealth countries; and how much of this sum is being provided in the form of loans.

Mr. Oram:

Schemes of compensation for loss of career for the members of H.M. Overseas Civil Service are normally introduced when a country attains self-government. The compensation is paid by instalments over a number of years to all entitled officers whether or not they retire immediately from their posts. Entitlement to compensation is linked to the right and expectation of immediate retirement and those entitled officers who continue to serve for a period do so only because their services are required and requested by the independent Commonwealth Governments concerned.

Under the Overseas Service Aid Scheme the British Government provide half the cost of compensation and that part of each officer's pension attributable to the part of his salary provided under the Scheme. Dependent on their economic circumstances, overseas Governments can seek loan assistance from the British Government towards their half share of compensation and their share of that part of the officer's pension which he is entitled to commute.

Some 10,280 officers have become entitled to compensation since the Overseas Service Aid Scheme was introduced and loans committed to overseas Governments towards their share of these costs have amounted to £24,523,000 towards compensation and £9,848,000 towards the commutation of pensions. During the current financial year the cost to the British Government under the Overseas Service Aid Scheme is estimated at 0,780,000 for compensation and £507,000 for the commutation of pensions.

Mr. Gardner

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what proportion of aid given to African Commonwealth countries in respect of compensation and pensions commutation for overseas officers is for payments to Rhodesians.

Mr. Oram:

An unknown but perhaps not inconsiderable number of officers born in Rhodesia were appointed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies on a pensionable basis to the Colonial Service and served in many parts of the world. Others retired to Rhodesia and may have acquired local citizenship. Neither of these factors was relevant or recorded in relation to the award of pension or compensation in individual cases. I regret that the information requested is not available.

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