asked the Secretary of State for War how many special trains were used to convey officers of South-Eastern Command to a lecture at the Savoy Cinema, Brighton, on 31st January; what was the approximate cost to the public, including trains, petrol for cars, officers detention allowances, hire of cinema, etc.; and whether, as nothing was said that could not have been conveyed to the officers concerned, in writing, he will give instructions that transport facilities are not wasted in future?
Six special trains were used to bring officers to this lecture, and the total expenses incurred were approximately £3,000. It is not the case that nothing was said that could not have been conveyed to the officers in writing, and in view of the special circumstances of this lecture I cannot agree that transport facilities were wasted.
The number of officers brought to the lecture by special trains was about 1,466. The lecture was such that I think it was well justified for these officers to go there and hear personally from the General of his recent experiences and the lessons to be learned from them.