asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation whether persons in Government service such as teachers and administrators who choose to serve part of their careers overseas suffer any loss of seniority or pension rights by so doing.
I am grateful for that Answer, but will my right hon. Friend recall that some weeks ago in another place a noble Lord stated categorically that teachers going overseas had difficulty in getting back, had no pension rights, and lost seniority? Is he aware that this misinformation was not corrected by his noble Friend who wound up the debate? Would my right hon. Friend give what he has said today the widest possible publicity in the proper quarters?
We shall get into a lot of discussion of the meaning of words, but I think that I mean "are preserved". There are slight differences of circumstances in every appointment, but the provision exists and I assure the House that my Department does everything it can to make the provision known and applied. Where it is applied they are preserved.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a great deal of anxiety and doubt about this? How many teachers went overseas last year whose rights were preserved in terms of pension and superannuation?
I cannot give the figures off the cuff because so many teachers who went overseas were recruited from channels not served by my Department, but here again I value the matter being aired in the House in this way. It is the best way of making it known.
There is a scheme and it is known to all education authorities. I am sure that I am right in saying that they do not need any special instructions from my right hon. Friend to operate the scheme, but I will certainly look into the point to make sure that I am right in what I am saying.