HC Deb 03 April 1973 vol 854 cc62-3W
65. Mr. John Morris

asked the Minister of State for Defence when the decision announced by the Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Army to reimburse soldiers of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards for the duty payable on cars they sought to import on 8th December 1972 was communicated to each guardsman; and when he was paid.

Mr. Blaker

The decision I announced to the House on 25th January was communicated to the battalion within 24 hours. It was then disseminated through regimental channels and I am satisfied that those serving with the unit would have been made aware of it very soon. Since the arrangements represent a substantial departure from normal practice, the preparation of detailed instructions took rather longer, but these were published in regimental orders on 9th March. The present position on the 17 individual cases in which the right hon. Member is interested is that nine claims were submitted between 20th March and 30th March. All have been passed for payment and five were settled by the unit on 2nd April. Of the other eight cases, one claim has been delayed because the soldier concerned is in hospital; two claimants have been reimbursed by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise, which has a third case under consideration. Three members of the battalion have sold their cars and one is to re-export his car later this year. I am in correspondence with the right hon. Member about the case of a constituent who left the Army before the decision was announced.—[Vol. 849, c. 622–24.]