HC Deb 28 March 1969 vol 780 cc368-9W
Mr. Eldon Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the names, ages and present posts of those senior officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who are to be retired prematurely in the interests of the Service; on what basis he made this selection; and what arrangements will be made to compensate those retired for loss of earnings.

Mr. M. Stewart

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, East (Mr. Robert Howarth) on 26th March. All these officers are in the top three grades of the Diplomatic Service. The precise dates on which the retirements will take effect have not all been finally settled. However, I expect that with one exception, who will be aged 53, all the officers will be between 54 and 60 on retirement. All but six are at present serving overseas. It would not be appropriate, nor fair to the individuals concerned, to single them out by giving their names.

In selecting the officers for retirement, I was assisted by the recommendations of the Senior Selection Board, which is composed of both Ministers and officials. The recommendations were unanimous. We reviewed the prospects, rather than the present performance, of all officers in the three senior grades. The officers eventually selected were those for whom it was difficult to foresee either promotion or continued employment in their present grade beyond 1970 without disturbing the career structure of the Service.

The special measures to alleviate hardship, in addition to the immediate pensions and lump sums to which the officers will be entitled under the Superannuation Act, 1965, were outlined in my reply of 26th March.—[Vol. 780, c. 318–19.]