HC Deb 26 March 1985 vol 76 cc201-2
6. Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what contribution to the cost of security at RAF Molesworth has been made so far by the United States Government.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement (Mr. John Lee)

None. The costs of the current development works and security operation at RAF Molesworth are being borne by the United Kingdom as part of its host nation responsibilities to NATO.

Mr. Alton

Cannot the Minister tell the House what will be the total cost of security at Molesworth to the British taxpayers and ratepayers? Will he anticipate what will be the cost of maintaining security during the Easter vigil next week? Does he not believe that the American Government, as it is their base and their weapon, should make some contribution towards security costs?

Mr. Lee

No figures are available, but, in terms of the apportionment of future costs, infrastructure costs will be shared as between NATO and the United States national programme and the United Kingdom will be responsible for the cost of road access into the site and utilities. As to costs that we might incur in protecting the base because of possible Easter demonstrations, we are determined to defend the integrity of the base.

Sir Anthony Grant

Whoever contributes to the cost of security at Molesworth, is my hon. Friend aware that it is essential to safeguard the amenities of the citizens and residents in the area? Is he aware that they are also entitled to their own rights, and that they wonder how Monseigneur Bruce Kent would like it if they disrupted, and kicked up hell during, his church services?

Mr. Lee

I endorse my hon. Friend's sentiments. Many hon. Members are concerned that the Easter marches will not be disturbed. We are concerned that the rights of local residents during Easter are maintained and that the Ministry of Defence police are not disturbed and have a happy and pleasant Easter.