Civil Servants, West Africa (Cost of Living)

Oral Answers to Questions — African Colonies – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th October 1944.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Harvey Mr Thomas Harvey , Combined English Universities 12:00 am, 25th October 1944

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the latest available figures showing the increase in the cost of living for civil servants in the West African Colonies as compared with before the war.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

As the reply necessarily contains a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

There has been no cost of living survey specifically for civil servants in West Africa but the following are the latest available figures showing increases in the general cost of living index since the outbreak of war: Nigeria. 1st April, 1944–161.30.(A. fall from 173.65 at 1st October, 1943.) Gold Coast. September quarter, 1944–169. Sierra Leone. June, 1944–255.Gambia. First quarter, 1944–210.(This represents increase above index of 100 for average prices ruling in 1938.) Action has since been taken by subsidy to reduce this figure to 183.7.

Photo of Mr Thomas Harvey Mr Thomas Harvey , Combined English Universities

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is prepared to give further consideration to the substitution of a war bonus on similar lines to that in use in Great Britain for the present cost of living allowance to colonial civil servants in West Africa.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

A revised scheme of separation and cost of living allowances was introduced in West Africa in July, 1944, and I see no reason to alter it.

Photo of Mr Thomas Harvey Mr Thomas Harvey , Combined English Universities

Has the Minister received any representations on behalf of the Colonial civil servants concerned?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

There have been some representations, but this was only brought in after very careful consideration, and after the visit of one of my officers to West Africa.