HC Deb 06 July 1938 vol 338 cc361-2
21. Mr. Parker

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the reasons why with 397,361 attendances at the three naval ports for Navy Week last year, only £10,887 was allocated to men's charities, whereas in 1930, with 288,688 attendances, £12,540 was devoted for this purpose, observing that Is. entrante fee is charged to adults and 6d. to children, as well as car-park and other charges; whether he will cause a proper balance sheet, showing the gross receipts and expenditure for 1937, including details of officials' salaries, etc., to be published in Fleet Orders and issued to the Press, in-stead of the net proceeds and excess of income over expenditure account published on 25th June, 1938; and, as this money is obtained from the general public, whether he will cause copies of such complete balance sheets to be laid upon the Table of the House of Commons?

Mr. Cooper

The allocation of Navy Week Profits is decided by the Managing Trustees of the Navy Weeks Trust, who are the Commanders-in-Chief at Ports-mouth, Devonport and Chatham, and the Director of Personal Services. Until I933 all profits were paid at once to Naval charities, but from 1934 onwards sums have been set aside to finance sub-sequent Navy Weeks, to form a reserve investment fund, to meet capital expenses necessary as a result of the increased attendances, and to provide for some distribution to the various charities should circumstances arise to prevent the holding of Navy Week in any particular year. Proper balance sheets are drawn up each year by chartered accountants appointed by the Trustees, and, if the hon. Member applies to the Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth, who is the senior Managing Trustee, a copy could be sent to him. As public funds are not involved, I do not think that the question of laying balance sheets upon the Table of this House arises.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

Have not the overhead expenses in connection with Navy Week increased very much, especially as regards the salaries paid for doing what was at one rime done voluntarily?

Mr. Cooper

I could not answer that question without notice, but I do not think they have increased out of proportion to the general increase in the expenses of the undertaking.

23. Mr. Parker

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty under what Votes of the Navy Estimates the officer and four ratings are borne and paid who are now engaged on a month's tour of the Mid-lands with a three-ton lorry and model ship on a trailer, in an attempt to popularise Navy Week and air recruiting; what expenses will be incurred, and whether these expenses will be a charge on Navy Week or recruiting or other funds; whether the lorry and trailer are insured against all risks, and, if so, from what funds; whether, in the event of death or disablement during these duties, the proper pensions would be paid, and from what funds; and, as such duties are mainly recruiting work, why they are not performed by the retired recruiting staff, instead of active service personnel; and whether he will give the same in-formation, where applicable, about the officer and 10 ratings to be stationed at Charing Cross Underground Station in connection with Navy Week and recruiting?

Mr. Cooper

The ordinary pay and allowances of the officer and four ratings concerned, which involve no additional cost to the public, are borne by Navy Vote I. Ali other expenses arising from the tour, including the insurance of the personnel, the lorry and the trailer against all risks, are borne by the Navy Week organisarion, and involve no charge to public funds. In the event of death or disablement of the personnel, the appropriate pensions would be paid as a charge to Navy Votes in the first in-stances, but would be recoverable under the insurance to which I have referred. Recruiting staff are not employed, as the tour is organised primarily to advertise Navy Week, and not for purposes of recruiting, and the duty would not be appropriate to the official recruiting organisation. The foregoing considerations apply generally to the officer and ratings to be stationed at the Navy Week exhibition in Charing Cross Underground Station.