§ Mr. Clark Hutchison
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether any charge to public funds now arises in respect of his official residence at 6, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.
§ Mr. Gordon Campbell
The provision of this residence was authorised by the Government in 1966, on the basis that it would be administered by the specially constituted Bute House Trust without any charge to public funds. The house itself had been accepted by the Government in part payment of estate duty, and the cost of its renovation, adaptation, and furnishing has been met from funds totalling some £40,000 raised privately, together with many donations in kind. The Government warmly appreciate the generosity of many Scots and Scottish institutions in this enterprise.
The funds so far raised are, however, insufficient to cover also the cost of repairs and maintenance, and custody, expected to average some £3,000 a year. Accordingly, in view of the proven value of the house for official purposes in Edinburgh, arrangements are being made for these maintenance costs to be met for the present from public funds. The Bute House Trust will continue to hold the 302W house on lease from the National Trust for Scotland, and is open to receive further donations in money or kind.