Never part of military estate

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 December, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 December, 1999, 12:00am

In response to Kevin Sinclair's two articles and your editorial about Wardhaven (South China Morning Post, December 10), I have been asked to make clear the following facts: Wardhaven was never part of the military estate. It was purchased by private funds and was maintained, serviced and staffed by charging users a rent sufficient to cover these costs. No public funds were involved in the purchase or running of the property. The Hong Kong Government therefore had no claim on the proceeds of the sale of the property.

The Post article asks 'what happened to the money'? The entire proceeds of the sale were donated to charitable causes. More than half of this money was divided between the Locally Enlisted Personnel Trust for Hong Kong soldiers and sailors and the Gurkha Welfare Trust. The remainder was dispersed to service charities in the UK.

TREVOR ADAMS Spokesman British Consul-General Kevin Sinclair replies: At no stage did the story suggest public funds were involved nor that the Hong Kong Government had any claim on proceeds of the sale of Wardhaven. What was suggested was that it was morally wrong.

For a week, I telephoned and faxed Mr Adams asking for an answer to questions about the house and its sale. All he could say was the only person who could answer was in the Falkland Islands. It was only after the story was published that the Army disclosed what had happened to the funds.