THE Government's proposed alternative to the luxurious sea passage to Britain for retired expatriate civil servants has failed to resolve the long-standing dispute. The civil service branch indicated to the Association of Expatriate Civil Servants (AECS) last week that those overseas officers who chose not to take the perk would be offered a one-way first-class air ticket instead of the economy class air passage offered under the present arrangement. For those who preferred to sail on the Canberra, the difference between today's cost and future fares would have to be paid by the passenger. If the proposal is accepted, officers will be given several weeks to make their choice, which would be final. However, both options would be subject to the future of the liner. If the liner stopped sailing, all overseas civil servants would have to accept an economy class air ticket home. Government officials had hoped the revised package would win approval from the AECS so they could proceed to the Legislative Council's Finance Committee to seek necessary funding, which has been withheld by legislators since last November. But reaction from the association has so far been negative. The executive council of the association had unanimously rejected the alternative offers, saying the Government had no right to change the conditions of service unilaterally, association chairman Mr Royston Griffey said.