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Falkland Islands (Garrison)

Volume 35: debated on Monday 17 January 1983

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence why a contract to supply troops in the Falkland Islands with fishing tackle was given to a German-owned firm; and which British firms were given the opportunity to tender for the contract.

Eight United Kingdom firms were approached to provide fishing equipment. Only two replied. The firm chosen to supply the equipment is a United Kingdom registered Limited Company with, I understand, a mixture of German and United Kingdom shareholders. The equipment itself is manufactured throughout the world, including the United Kingdom.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many persons it is now intended should be garrisoned on the Falkland Islands (a) by way of military personnel and (b) by way of civilian backup for such military personnel on a permanent basis; and how this compares with the number of such persons there prior to April.

It would not be in the public interest to reveal the number of military personnel garrisoned on the Falkland Islands. Ten Ministry of Defence civilians are currently providing direct support to the garrison, together with one from the Property Services Agency and one from the Department of Trade.

On 31 March 1982 the garrison consisted of forty-two military personnel with no Ministry of Defence civilian support.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements are made to pay hotels, boarding houses and private householders on the Falkland Islands for board, lodging and meals for British service men; and what are the methods of monitoring that the facilities paid for are properly supplied to the service men.

Special arrangements have been introduced to meet the cost of board and lodging for Service men who are required to live in hotels, boarding houses or with private households. Under these arrangements the Commander British Forces Falkland Islands is able to make payments direct to the landlord provided that, in the light of his local knowledge, he is satisfied that such charges are fair and reasonable. I have no reason to doubt that these payments are being properly scrutinised.