HC Deb 26 May 1976 vol 912 cc218-9W
Mr. Gwynfor Evans

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total sum spent in overseas countries during the last 10 years on buildings for use by diplomatic and commercial representatives of the British Government.

Mr. Tomlinson

The cost of diplomatic buildings overseas, including those used by the commercial staff of Her Majesty's missions and consulates, is borne on the Votes of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Property Services Agency.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is responsible for the payment of rent and certain maintenance costs of residential accommodation held on short-term lease, and for the rent of office premises used by 41 honorary consuls.

The Property Services Agency is responsible for all other expenditure, including the cost of upkeep of owned property; the payment of rent and maintenance costs of all offices, other than honorary consulates; and of residential hirings held on long-term lease, the cost of purchase and construction of office and residential premises, and the provision of furniture for offices and some residential accommodation.

The total expenditure by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office during the financial years 1966–67 to 1974–75, inclusive, was £44.8 million. The final figure for 1975–76 is not yet available, but this is provisionally estimated at £7.8 million.

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