§ Mr. Clinton Davis
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement indicating the result of inquiries undertaken by the British Ambassador to South Africa concerning compliance of the South African Government with the provisions of the Simonstown Agreement relating to racial discrimination in working conditions and opportunities at the naval base;
(2) what inquiries have been undertaken by the British Ambassador to South Africa concerning the compliance of the South African Government with the provisions of the Simonstown Agreement relating to racial discrimination in working conditions and opportunities at the naval base.
§ Mr. Kershaw
Her Majesty's Ambassador in Cape Town was asked to make inquiries through the Department of Foreign Affairs. They have provided the Ambassador with the following information, which confirms that earlier available to him:
- 1. At the date of transfer of the Simonstown Naval Base on 1st April, 1957, 597 European and 713 non-European employees of the Admiralty were transferred to the South African Navy. Of this number only 23 European and four non-European employees were established, that is to say, held permanent pensionable posts. The remainder were all casuals employed on a 24-hour hire-and-fire basis.
- 2. At present 854 Europeans and 1,231 non-Europeans are employed
584 in the dockyard. Of this number 540 Europeans and 167 non-Europeans are in permanent pensionable (established) posts. With the expansion of the dockyard these posts are being further increased.
- 3. More non-Europeans than Europeans have been recruited and appointed subsequent to the transfer.
- 4. There is no discrimination whatsoever based on colour in the rates of pay for comparable jobs. The conditions of service of all employees irrespective of race are governed by the Public Services Act, 1957.
- 5. Further privileges now enjoyed by all established employees irrespective of race are, inter alia,
- (a) accumulative vacation leave of between 30 and 38 days per annum depending upon length of service, including Admiralty Service, and 120 days sick leave on full pay during a three-year cycle. Under the Admiralty they got ten days leave per annum;
- (b) 100 per cent. housing loans plus subsidies on bond repayments;
- (c) working hours for industrials reduced from 44 hours per week to 42½ hours per week;
- (d) pension contributions reduced from a minimum of 6½ per cent. to a fixed 4 per cent. on pensionable salary;
- (e) more posts of titular artisan have been created for employment of semi-skilled non-European labourers;
- (f) salaries have nearly doubled: for example, an artisan on 1st April 1957 earned £894 per annum as compared to present salary of £1,725 per annum;
- (g) all employees get all the paid public holidays of the Republic of South Africa;
- (h) all employees are eligible to join the Civil Servants' Medical Benefit Association under which approximately four-fifths of all medical expenses for an employee and his dependents are paid for by the Association.
- 6. Several former non-European employees of the Admiralty have been
585 transferred to the public service where they now fill senior posts in other Government Departments.
- 7. No European or non-European ex-Admiralty employees or those recruited subsequently have been dismissed from the service other than through gross misconduct or inefficiency.
- 8. From the foregoing it will be seen that the South African Government complied in all respects with the conditions laid down in the Simonstown Agreement and has in fact improved considerably thereon.
My right hon. Friend told the House on 26th November, 1970 that our information was that the South African Government were fulfilling their obligations and I have no reason to change this view.