Professional Persons (Resettlement)

Oral Answers to Questions — Technical Co-Operation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25 June 1964.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Anthony Bourne-Arton Mr Anthony Bourne-Arton , Darlington 12:00, 25 June 1964

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation whether he is aware of difficulties experienced by professional people in finding suitable employment in this country after returning from service overseas; and what assistance his department is able to provide to overcome such difficulties.

Mr. Carr:

The Overseas Services Resettlement Bureau was set up specially to help overcome the difficulties of members of Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service retiring prematurely and is doing so with outstanding success.

Recruitment for overseas service is now on a contract basis for limited periods and in general I am not aware of serious difficulties regarding suitable re-employment on return to this country. My Department does all it can to encourage employers to release staff on terms which provide for their reabsorption and also to encourage a general recognition that overseas service is in itself of positive value as part of a professional career.

Photo of Mr Anthony Bourne-Arton Mr Anthony Bourne-Arton , Darlington

Could my right hon. Friend make these arrangements better known? Is he aware that quite a lot of people—teachers, for example—are deterred from service overseas for a few years because of nervousness about possible effects on their main careers at home?

Mr. Carr:

I will As far as teachers and others in public service are concerned, we can make—and by and large have made—suitable arrangements, but it is much more difficult in private employment. We cannot legislate for that. We do all we can to persuade private employers on this, and I would very much welcome the assistance of all hon. Members in putting it over.

Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth

Is my right hon. Friend aware that that answer is much too complacent? Is he aware of what is happening to people coming back from Africa, whose pensions have not been protected or increased? Is he aware that they are arriving back here without gratuities to buy a house, with no money to buy furniture and with nothing to help to educate their children? Is he further aware that I think the Government are treating these people monstrously and unfairly?

Mr. Carr:

The Question is about employment of people coming back, after service overseas with Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service, as prematurely retired civil servants. The Service itself has set up a bureau which has found employment for over 80 per cent. of those on its books.

Photo of Mr George Thomson Mr George Thomson , Dundee East

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the non-designated officers from Northern Rhodesia are having a very difficult time over their terms of compensation and that, when they come back here, the Overseas Settlement Bureau discriminates against them and will not offer its services to them? Is this not the responsibility of Her Majesty's Government rather than that of the Northern Rhodesian Government? Will he look at this again?

Mr. Carr:

The Bureau was set up for a special purpose. If it is to do that job it must concentrate on it. But the Government do provide help for all these people. There are, for example, the services of the Executive Register of the Ministry of Labour, of which I have had experience and which is an admirable body freely available to all these people.