Local Populations (Social Services)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th January 1967.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West 12:00 am, 18th January 1967

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the annual cost of regular social, medical and educational services to the local populations, other than those connected with military action, provided by British Armed Services east of Suez.

Photo of Mr Gerald Reynolds Mr Gerald Reynolds , Islington North

The Armed Forces do not provide regular services of this kind to local populations, except at Gan, where the cost is £5,000 a year.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

Would my hon. Friend agree that in many ways this work is more important and more valuable than military operations undertaken by forces and contributes more to security? Does he not further agree that it could be more effectively undertaken with a civil programme in the area which could be assisted rapidly if we were to reduce our military commitment?

Photo of Mr Gerald Reynolds Mr Gerald Reynolds , Islington North

My hon. Friend asked for regular services and the answer I gave is the only regular service. A lot of work of this nature is done in connection with military operations. This was done in Borneo and is being done in South Arabia, but basically it is not a matter for a charge upon the Defence Vote to carry out this kind of work but on the Vote of the Department dealing with that kind of thing.