HC Deb 16 October 1973 vol 861 cc12-3
14. Mr. Fortescue

asked the Minister of State for Defence what arrangements are made to supply surplus or used vehicles from the armed services to the cadet forces; how these arrangements differ as between the three Services; and if he will investigate the possibility of improving the arrangements in the near future.

Mr. Ian Gilmour

The arrangements for the supply of surplus or used Service vehicles to the three cadet forces differ and I am writing to my hon. Friend explaining in detail the differences. I am examining the possibility of improving these arrangements, within the constraints imposed by the defence budget and the availability of suitable surplus vehicles.

Mr. Fortescue

In view of the paltriness of the receipts for the sale of these vehicles, would not the cause of defence be better served by making them available to the cadet forces either free or at a very reduced rate, so that youngsters can see more of the Services to which they are attached and so that, in particular, those based in our big cities may have the chance of seeing something of the countryside rather than staying on the streets?

Mr. Gilmour

The practice in the Services differs on this matter and I am looking into it to see whether it is right to unify the practice and to help the cadet forces in that way. However, my hon. Friend will agree that we give considerable help to the cadet forces, to the extent of about £10 million a year.

Mr. Loveridge

Is my right hon. Friend aware that when members of the cadet forces are killed in civilian accidents in such used vehicles their next of kin are unfairly denied rights which they would have had if the accident had occurred to a member of the civil services? That is due to the provisions of Section 10 of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947. Will my right hon. Friend amend it to ensure equity?

Mr. Gilmour

That is an interesting and important question on which my hon. Friend and I have had a certain amount of correspondence; but it does not strictly arise on this Question.