§ 20. Major Maxwell Fyfe
asked the Secretary of State for War what was the final cost of the Militia camp programme against the estimated cost of £21,000,000?
§ Captain Margesson
The report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General on the 1939 Army Account shows that against the Estimate of £ 20,000,000 for militia accommodation, including militia camps, presented to the House in July, 1939, me expenditure brought to account up to December, 1940, was of the order of £ 22,750,000 and that a comparatively small amount remains for final settlement. I am glad of the opportunity which my hon. and gallant Friend's Question gives me of again drawing attention to this fact, since statements continue to be made in the Press and elsewhere that the cost of militia camps was £ 80,000,000. This figure is based, I believe, on a misinterpretation of the Fifth Report of the Select Committee on National Expenditure, and has no foundation in fact. In this connection I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst (Sir W. Smithers) on 6th May.
§ Mr. Stokes
Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say how many camps were covered by the actual expenditure of £ 22,000,000 odd and how many were included in the first estimate? Otherwise the figures completely mislead the House.