asked the Secretary of State for War why it has become necessary to recondition and re-equip Fornham Park Camp, Bury St. Edmund's, which has stood derelict for 18 months; what will be the cost of this work; and if there is no barrack or permanent camp more suitable for peace-time military occupation.
Fornham Park Camp, Bury St. Edmunds is being reconditioned and re-equipped to accommodate a regiment returning from overseas. The camp was evacuated approximately six months ago by Polish Forces when it was certainly not in a derelict condition. The cost of the work being carried out is estimated at £700, and there is no more suitable barrack or permanent camp available at present for the purpose for which it is required.
Could the Minister look again at his answer, because no Polish troops had been there until six weeks ago? In fact, Polish troops in a neighbouring camp were given permission to go and take the stuff out of this camp with the result that the camp is empty. Is it the policy of the Government to allow one part of the Service to take it somewhere else so that money has to be spent to take it back again?
No, Sir, we do not give that permission to the Polish troops, but, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman will know, sometimes they do not wait for permission.
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that general negligence in regard to empty camps only leads to looting and destruction of very valuable equipment?
No, Sir, that charge of general negligence is unfounded. The fact is that I have not the large number of troops necessary to guard these empty camps.