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Written Answers

Volume 374: debated on Wednesday 29 September 1976

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Written Answers

Civil Servants And Secondment To The Eec

asked Her Majesty's Government:What security of re-employment is offered to British officials seconded to the Commission or Parliament of the EEC;How many British officials have lost opportunities for promotion as a result of working for the Commission or Parliament of the EEC; andHow many former British officials they have not re-employed in the United Kingdom following secondment to the institutions of the EEC.

British civil servants who with the consent of their Departments have taken up appointments with the institutions of the EEC have been given a right of reinstatement. I am not aware of any case where this undertaking has not been honoured.While civil servants are with the EEC they are eligible to be considered for promotion in their absence according to the relevant circumstances, which will vary between individuals, groups, and levels of staff. It is not possible to compare the opportunities for promotion which are available to officers who have opted to serve with the EEC with those which might have been open to them had they not chosen to do so; but some officers have been promoted

in absentia and will take up duties in the higher grade when they return from the EEC.

Eec And Civil Servants' Pension Rights

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the pensions of British civil servants are affected by secondment to the institutions of the EEC.

:A British civil servant who takes up employment with an institution of the EEC may have his accrued Civil Service Scheme pension rights transferred to the Communities Pension Scheme. If he returns to the Civil Service, or to any other employment in the United Kingdom covered by an approved pension scheme, his accrued rights, including those deriving from hs service with the EEC, may be transferred back. Alternatively, a civil servant with five or more years' service may choose to have his rights under the Civil Service Scheme preserved for payment to him at the retiring age of that scheme. EEC service could then be taken into account separately for benefits under the Communities Pension Scheme.

Civil Servants And Degrees From European Universities

How many civil servants with degrees from European Universities have been recruited in each of the last 10 years by each Government Department or Ministry.

Seven members of the Home Civil Service, having degrees from universities in countries of the European Economic Community other than the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, are recorded to have been recruited within the last 10 years and to be still serving in their Departments.

Council Of Ministers: British Presidency

asked Her Majesty's Government:Which subjects the CPRS have been asked to study in preparation for the British Presidency of the Council of Ministers for the EEC.

The CPRS has not been asked to make studies specifically related to the British Presidency, but it provides advice on various matters relating to our membership of the EEC.

Civil Servants' Language Training

asked Her Majesty's Government:What facilities for language training are offered to British civil servants likely to be representing the United Kingdom in the EEC.

Departments are encouraged to take advantage of the facilities for language training offered throughout the country by specialised language schools (including the Diplomatic Service Language Centre), polytechnics and local education authorities. Courses of language training are arranged specially for the Home Civil Service at Leeds University and at the Polytechnic of Central London. In addition some Departments themselves provide their staff with language laboratory facilities.Although the Civil Service College does not teach languages, it arranges courses on an exchange basis with France, Germany and the Netherlands. The senior exchanges with France include a specific element of language training.

Civil Servants' Legal Qualifications

asked Her Majesty's Government:How many civil servants with a legal qualification from a Continental university, or with a legal qualification requiring familiarity with Community Law, have been recruited by each Ministry or Department in each of the last ten years.

Nine members of the Home Civil Service, with legal qualifications from universities in other countries of the European Economic Community (excluding the Republic of Ireland), are recorded to have been recruited within the last ten years and to be still serving in their Departments. A number of other staff may have studied Community Law as part of their courses at universities in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, but the individual content of such courses is not recorded.

Protection Of Prisoners: Un Geneva Meeting

asked Her Majesty's Government:What conclusions were reached at the Geneva meeting of the United Nations Human Rights sub-Commission to consider means of ending the torture of prisoners; whether proposals were considered for the establishment of inspectorates to visit detention centres where torture is alleged; and whether coordinated action is proposed by United Nations' Agencies including the ILO, to eradicate the torture of detainees and prisoners.

The noble Lord refers, I think, to the meeting of the sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. The main results of discussion of this subject were the appointment of one of the members of the sub-Commission to draw up a body of principles for the protection of all persons under any form of detention or imprisonment. And secondly the recommendation that the Economic and Social Council should authorise the appointment of a Working Group of the sub-Commission to prepare the sub-Commission's annual review of developments in this field.The establishment of an inspectorate was advocated by the United Kingdom member but not pursued by the sub-Commission since it did not attract sufficient support. The UN Specialised Agencies, which include the ILO, will be invited to provide information to the Secretary-General in time for it to be considered by the sub-Commission at its next session and by its Working Group, if that is established. There was no proposal for co-ordinated action on a wider basis.House adjourned at six minutes past midnight.