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Malaya (Civil Servants' Back Pay)

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 4 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has considered the Memorandum from the Singapore Government Servants Back-Pay Council and the Government Junior Civil Services Association, Malayan Union, contending that the back-pay terms and conditions contained in circulars C.S.O. Nos. 24 and 25 are unfair and unjust; and what action he proposes to take in the matter.

It has not been possible to identify the particular Memoran- dum my hon. Friend has in mind; but I can assure him that I gave the most careful consideration to all aspects of this difficult matter before I agreed that the proposals in question should be taken as the final decision of the Malayan Governments. I see no reason to take any further action in the matter.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the back-pay award there was considerable discrimination between the European servants and the native servants; that the native servants called the award "the black pay award"; that there is great discontent in the Malayan Union; and will he look further into the matter?

I have gone to a great deal of trouble in this matter, which is very complicated indeed. There has been a good deal of misrepresentation in regard to the award but, on the whole, I think it is a generous settlement.