HC Deb 02 February 1965 vol 705 cc273-4W
82 and 83. Mr. Dodds

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what was the nature of the communication recently sent by his Department to the Kent Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association, which has resulted in increased charges of about 500 per cent. being quoted to old people's organisations for using accommodation at Territorial Army centres in Kent; and to which other associations in other counties a similar communication has been sent;

(2) what action he proposes to take as a consequence of the short notice sent by the Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association, County of Kent, cancelling the licence on 31st January, 1965, to enable the Erith branch of the British Legion to hold meetings in the Drill Hall, Erith, bearing in mind the work this organisation does on behalf of Service men, both past and present, as well as their dependants.

Mr. Reynolds

The Ministry of Defence has not written recently to any Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association about letting charges. I understand that the Council of Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Associations wrote to all County Associations on 5th October, 1964, about a block fire insurance scheme and that this has caused some increase in the level of letting charges. While County Associations are encouraged to sub-let property when not required for military use, it is left to the Association to decide to whom and on what terms they sub-let, provided that proper guarantees against damage to property are obtained, and that the rent charged is at least sufficient to cover the cost of heating, lighting, cleaning, maintenance, insurance and administrative expenses.

I understand that negotiations for a new licence have been taking place and that the Kent Association has extended the present licence of the Erith branch of the British Legion until 28th February.