Maintenance Payments (Remission to Rhodesia)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th July 1967.

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Photo of Mr William Worsley Mr William Worsley , Chelsea 12:00 am, 18th July 1967

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what is his policy towards the payment by divorced persons resident in this country of money for the maintenance of their children resident in Rhodesia;

(2) why Mr. S. I. Posen has not been allowed to remit in full the £50 alimony ordered to be paid in 1958 after divorce proceedings before a British court sitting in Southern Rhodesia.

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

Under present policy, United Kingdom residents are not allowed to remit funds to Rhodesia for the maintenance of persons in that country except in cases of severe hardship. The amounts which Mr. Posen has been allowed to remit have been calculated in accordance with the normal rules applicable to hardship cases and take into account the financial circumstances of his former wife.

Photo of Mr William Worsley Mr William Worsley , Chelsea

Is this not absolutely shameful? Will the hon. and learned Gentleman look at this again? Whatever the issues and rights or wrongs about the Rhodesian crisis, can it be right to punish children for the failure of Her Majesty's Government's policies?

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

I cannot accept that this is punishing children—

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

I have looked carefully at this case myself, and we have applied the hardship test to it. The remission of some moneys has been allowed, but we have taken into account the financial circumstances of the former wife.