HC Deb 23 July 1958 vol 592 cc391-2
1. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Secretary of State for War what action he is taking to improve the accommodation and welfare and recreational facilities for troops in Cyprus.

The Under-Secretary of State for War (Mr. Julian Amery)

A further programme of works services for the improvement of temporary camps was begun this year. When it has been completed we shall have spent a total of about £500,000 on improving kitchens, dining rooms, huts and other accommodation.

As regards welfare, there are, of course, junior ranks clubs for the majority of units; Cyprus has its own forces broadcasting service; and there are canteens, cinemas, touring entertainment parties, leave centres, and sports facilities. Inevitably, the general standard of welfare and recreation is restricted by the unrest in Cyprus and the arrival of reinforcements.

Mr. Chetwynd

As it now seems that our troops will have to stay in Cyprus for a long time and will be operating under very unpleasant and hazardous conditions, are not we really obliged to do much more than we have done so far to put these arrangements on a more permanent and better basis?

Mr. Amery

I do not think that we can prejudge the situation at this stage.

2. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for War what is now the weekly cost of keeping the Army in Cyprus.

Mr. J. Amery

The extra cost of keeping the Army in Cyprus, compared with keeping it in the United Kingdom is about £70,000 a week. This includes reinforcements sent up to the end of June.

Mr. Hughes

I wanted to know the total cost, including the cost of the soldiers' pay, in this connection. Can the hon. Gentleman tell us whether this expenditure is included in the War Office Estimates or whether there is likely to be a Supplementary Estimate?

Mr. Amery

If the hon. Gentleman would like to put down a further Question on that second point, I will do my best to answer it. I was trying to be consistent. The hon. Gentleman asked a similar Question in February last year which was answered in the same way.

Captain Pilkington

Can my hon. Friend tell us what would be the cost of not keeping the Army in Cyprus?

Mr. Amery

I think it would be incalculable.