HC Deb 09 November 1976 vol 919 cc113-4W
Mr. Marten

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will set out the estimated costs to British funds of the preparations being made for the United Kingdom to take the chair at the Council of Ministers next January, including the cost of loss of use of Lancaster House.

Dr. Owen

Apart from some reassignment of duties among existing staff, the preparations mainly concern the facilities at the Lancaster House complex. As my right hon. Friend the then Minister of State explained on 8th June, the preparations there cover a range of meetings and it is not practicable to assign any particular proportion of the expenditure to the forthcoming British presidency of the Council of Ministers. It is not yet pos- sible to estimate the costs of loss of use of Lancaster House, but it is the intention to mitigate this by using other Government premises to the greatest possible extent.

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