§ Mr. Gerald Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 14 May 2003,Official Report, column 673W, on the Boer War, on what basis the annual contribution was calculated; and what proportion of the total annual spending on the sites this sum represents. 
§ Mr. Caplin
The maintenance of Boer War graves has been the responsibility of the South African Government since 1957. Since that time, the United Kingdom Government have supported the South African authorities in this task through an annual financial contribution. The basis upon which this contribution was originally calculated is not known, although it is clear that it was never intended that it should cover the full cost of maintenance. In recent years, the annual contribution has increased substantially—from £3,100 in 1992 to the current £15,000. The Ministry of Defence holds no information on the total annual spending by the South African authorities on the sites concerned.