asked the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Stretford, Official Report, 11th November, on what grounds Her Majesty's Government reduced by half expenditure on improving Army accommodation in Northern Ireland between 1975–76 and 1977–78; and if he will take steps forthwith to restore the £10,700,000 cut from this budget in the current financial year.
The answer my right hon. Friend gave on 8th November to the hon. Members for Harborough (Mr. Farr) and Eastbourne (Mr. Gow)—[Vol. 938, c. 466–8]—indicated a programme of improvement of soldiers' living accommodation in Northern Ireland as extensive over the past four years as field service conditions will allow. The expenditure figures to which the hon. Member now refers reflect the successful progress of this programme and the fact that last year we were able to vacate a considerable number of the less satisfactory locations. There has been no cut whatsoever in the planned expenditure on this improvement programme, which is proceeding to the limits that operational circumstances permit.