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Maltese Employees And Ratings

Volume 527: debated on Wednesday 5 May 1954

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1.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty on what grounds the Board of Admiralty base their decision to grant Maltese naval employees less holidays with pay than other British naval employees.

I assume the hon. and learned Member is referring to a decision announced in January, to increase by three days the paid annual leave of locally-entered industrial employees of the Service Departments in Malta. This increase was granted in pursuance of the policy of conforming with the current practice of other local good employers.

Does the Minister realise that discrimination of this kind is apt to have an adverse effect upon public opinion in Malta and elsewhere and is quite inconsistent with the great services rendered by that George Cross island in the war?

I am sure the people of Malta would not consider that there was any discrimination in this matter and would realise that the conditions of service for United Kingdom based service are related to entry in this country while conditions of service for those entered locally are related to local conditions.

2.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that Maltese naval ratings in the Royal Navy have been refused inclusion in the recent increases in the rates of naval pay; why this discrimination is made; and what other differences there are in status between Maltese and other ratings.

It was announced in March that the pay of Maltese locally-entered personnel was being reviewed, and it is hoped to make known the result of this review in the near future.

Will the Minister not agree that these amenities and privileges should be accorded to all ranks according to rank and that there should not be discrimination between the races involved? Will he give an undertaking to review the problems concerned with this and the previous Question?

I can assure the hon. and learned Gentleman that there is no question of discrimination or status. As I said in answer to his first Question, the recent pay increases to the Forces in general were for certain reasons, after an examination. As I have just announced, the Maltese pay is being reviewed. There is no question of status. The Maltese in the Royal Navy have done a tremendous job for many years, but it must be realised that they enter on different engagements.

Because they do not undertake the normal liability to serve all over the world.