HC Deb 04 November 1980 vol 991 cc532-3W
Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what social activities took place to mark the departure of the 17th/21st Lancers from Bovington over the weekend of 29–31 August; what further activities took place to mark this; and at what cost, breaking down the total to show the cost of each item.

Mr. Hayhoe

Various activities took place to mark the impending departure of the 17th/21st Lancers for a tour of duty in Germany. These were attended by some 1,200 serving members of the regiment, the Old Comrades Association and other guests, and included an officers' farewell ball, a barbecue luncheon, a Regimental Association dance and a luncheon for officers and old comrades. The cost of these social events were entirely covered by private regimental funds and voluntary donations.

Other activities taking place that weekend were a lecture by the commanding officer, a static parade of vehicles, a tactical exercise and demonstration, a beating of the retreat and a regimental church parade and march past. These normal military and training activities were timed to coincide with the weekend but attracted no extra costs to public funds. However, as with all training weekends, a certain amount of overtime was worked by the civilian catering staff to provide the routine meals for the unusually large number in barracks, but the cost of this was met within the normal budget of overtime allowable for the period. All limits on duty activity imposed by the moratorium on expenditure were closely observed.