§ Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what was the purpose of the Waterloo Banquet held at the British Embassy in Brussels; by whose authority it was held; how many guests attended; what was the cost of the banquet; and what was the total cost of all the arrangements.
§ Mr. George Thomson
On 15th June Her Majesty's Ambassador in Brussels gave a ball (not a banquet) to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the Duchess of Richmond's ball, which immediately preceded the battle. Her Majesty's Ambassador informed the Foreign Office in March, 1964, of his proposal to hold the ball, and the then Foreign Secretary gave his approval.
540 guests attended the function of whom the majority were Belgians. The cost of the ball will be met from Her Majesty's Ambassador's frais de representation and is therefore primarily a matter for him, though he will receive a 139W grant to help him to meet this exceptional expenditure. Final details of the total costs involved are not yet available but the additional cost to public funds is expected to be a little under £2,000.