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Royal Air Force (Command Headquarters)

Volume 932: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the cost of each of the command headquarters in the RAF.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Air Force
(Mr. James Wellbeloved)

The cost of each of the Command Headquarters in the RAF during 1976–77 was £12 million for HQ Strike Command, £5½ million for HQ Training Command, £4 million for HQ Support Command and £6 million for HQ RAF Germany.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, which according to my quick arithmetic makes a total of about £27 million. That is a lot of money. Can my hon. Friend confirm that he is giving consideration to the merging of the Support and Training Commands and whether, in the circumstances, he will consider abolishing the Group Commands, as this would save huge sums of money without damaging our air capability?

I congratulate my hon. Friend on his quick arithmetic. He was only £500,000 out. The total is £27·5 million. The Headquarters Training Command and Support Command will be amalgamated from next month, and we anticipate savings of about £1·3 million. My hon. Friend's suggestion about the possible change in the Group Commands is very interesting, and I shall look at it.