HC Deb 16 March 1994 vol 239 c704W
Mr. Lewis

To ask the Prime Minister what is the purpose of the royal tour of the Caribbean and the cost, including the use of the royal yacht Britannia; and under which expenditure heads the cost will be borne.

The Prime Minister

The purpose of Her Majesty the Queen's visit to Commonwealth countries and dependent territories in the Caribbean basin and to Bermuda was to reaffirm the close relationship which exists between the United Kingdom and those countries and territories. In each destination a number of specific objectives were achieved. These included demonstrating the importance we attach to our continuing responsibility for the dependent territories; and the Queen's continuing commitment to her realms. The visit to Guyana marked our recognition of the restoration of democratic government there.

Costs to the United Kingdom will be borne by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Metropolitan police and by Buckingham palace. Exact figures are not available: some bills have not yet been presented and the cost of diplomatic service staff who worked on the visit could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Information on the cost of individual voyages by the royal yacht is not maintained.