HC Deb 01 May 1995 vol 259 cc82-3W
Mr. Brazier

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has yet received Sir Peter Cazalet's report on representational entertainment in the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. [22342]

Mr. Soames

My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence received Sir Peter Cazalet's report on 25 April. I have today placed a copy in the Library of the House, and the report is available on request from my Department.

In accordance with his terms of reference Sir Peter studies the official entertainment conducted by commanders at all levels including the occupants of official service residences—properties furnished and equipped to a superior standard reflecting the entertainment responsibilities of the occupant. He has concluded that there is a legitimate requirement for the armed forces to entertain and has endorsed the concept of entertainment in officers' own homes. He draws attention to the high professional standards of house staff, chefs and stewards employed in support of official entertainment. He has made a number of recommendations about the way that entertainment is funded and the support that senior officers receive for this purpose. Additionally he has recommended that the concept of official service residences should be retained, but that the criteria for entitlement to such properties should be reviewed which should lead to a reduction in their number.

My right hon. and learned Friend and I endorse Sir Peter's conclusions, including that service personnel have a need to entertain to an appropriate standard in support of their responsibilities. We accept his recommendations and shall now be undertaking further work in order to take them forward.

I would like to express our thanks to Sir Peter for undertaking this study.

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