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Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Butterfill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those parliamentary questions he has taken eight weeks or more to answer since 1 May 1997. [32704]

Mrs. Liddell: The eight questions listed did not receive answers within eight weeks of the due date for answer. This represents 0.36 per cent. of the 2,215 written questions tabled to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the present Session.

MemberTable Office serial number
Tim Boswell15967
Malcolm Bruce20683
Jim Cousins23034
Nick Gibb19771
John Horam20952
Peter Lilley19704
Austin Mitchell12339
John Redwood20894

EU Code of Conduct Group

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the aims and objects of the EU Code of Conduct Group established by ECOFIN. [34031]

Mrs. Liddell: The purpose of the Code of Conduct Group is to assess harmful tax measures which may fall within the scope of the Code of Conduct. The Code itself, which covers business taxation, is designed to curb harmful direct tax measures which may affect in a significant way the location of business in the European Community.

Ecu Bonds

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Government propose to provide for the compulsory conversion of Ecu bonds into Euro bonds by 1 January 1999. [34088]

Mrs. Liddell: All Ecu bonds issued by the UK Government will automatically become denominated in euro at the start of Stage 3 under European Council Regulation No. (EC)1103/97.

Correspondence

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the hon. Member for Walsall, North will receive a reply to his letter of 22 January, reference: 0603/15. [34032]

Mr. Gordon Brown: My hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury responded on 11 March.

DEFENCE

Gulf (Inoculations)

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements have been made to inoculate British forces and medical auxiliaries currently dispatched to the Gulf against (a) anthrax, (b) botulism and

12 Mar 1998 : Column: 324

(c) chemical weapon agents; what range of insecticides have been sent; and if serving personnel have been given an option not to receive inoculations. [30830]

Dr. Reid: A programme of immunisation against anthrax is currently being offered to UK Service personnel and MOD civilians in the Gulf region. Details of this programme, which whilst strongly recommended is not compulsory were given in the reply by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence to the hon. Member for Salisbury (Mr. Key) on 3 March 1998, Official Report, column 535. UK forces currently deployed in the Gulf region have been equipped with a range of medical countermeasures against chemical and biological warfare agents. However, no other prophylactic medical countermeasures are currently being used by these forces.

Up to three types of pesticide from Service stocks are available for use by UK forces in the Gulf region, according to their location. These are pyrethroid-based insecticides for general insect control, a bendiocarb-based insecticide cockroach control and difenacoum-based rodenticides.

Riot Control Agents

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what stockpile his Department holds of CR; and for what purpose the material is held; [31274]

Dr. Reid: CR gas is a riot control agent designed to cause temporary irritation. The Ministry of Defence currently holds stocks of approximately 260kg for use if necessary by those units responsible for maintaining an effective counter terrorist response capability. This policy is consistent with the Chemical Weapons Convention, which permits the use of certain toxic chemicals for law enforcement purposes. Stocks of CR are held at the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency's Chemical and Biological Defence sector at Porton Down and at the relevant unit level. Figures for the annual cost of storing CR cannot separately be identified.

Mr. Livingstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what stocks of riot control agents are held by his Department; what quantities of each agent are held by his Department; what is the intended purpose of each agent; and where the stocks are held. [33888]

Dr. Reid: CS irritant is the only riot control agent held by my Department. Its purpose is for Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defence training and as a contingency in case the armed forces should ever be asked to support the civil power in riot control. The quantity of CS held is currently under review, although at present it stands at:





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The locations of the agent are being withheld under Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Casualties (Training Exercises)

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British soldiers have been (i) injured and (ii) killed during training exercises in the United Kingdom in each year since 1992 to date. [31740]

Dr. Reid: Figures for the number of deaths and injuries to Army Officers and Soldiers during training exercises for each year since 1992 are provided in the table.

YearDeathsInjuries
19922367
19931333
19942494
19951377
19960462
19971325
1998 (to 27 February 1998) 10

Note:

The figures for 1997 and 1998 are provisional as specific details of some incidents remain to be verified.


MOD Sites (Wales)

Sir Raymond Powell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many MoD sites in Wales have been disposed of (i) since 1 May and (ii) between November 1996 and May 1997; and to which bodies. [33697]

Mr. Spellar: The properties in Wales which have been sold and the date are shown in the table. With the exception of the sales of St. David's airfield (January 1997), the sites have been sold to private individuals or companies the details of which are withheld under exemption of 14 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

MOD sites in Wales: disposals

DateSitePurchaser
(i) Since 1 May 1997
May 1997Part of St. David's AirfieldPrivate Individual
Sept 1997No. 3 Scarborough Road, NewportPrivate Individual
Sept 19972/3 Church Cottages, BeachleyPrivate Individual
Oct 199712 Ellis Avenue, HaverfordwestPrivate Individual
Nov 19971 Church Cottages, BeachleyPrivate Individual
Dec 19976 Duke's Meadow, PendinePrivate Individual
Dec 199714 Ellis Avenue, HaverfordwestPrivate Individual
Jan 1998Area of RNAD Trecwn, PembrokePrivate Consortium
(ii) Between Nov 1996 and May 1997
Dec 199622 Woodend, PendinePrivate Individual
Dec 1996Land adjoining Cawder Bks, BrawdyPrivate Individual
Jan 1997Rinston Farm, BeachleyPrivate Individual
Jan 1997Part of St. David's AirfieldPembrokeshire Coast National Park
Jan 19972 Duke's Meadow, PendinePrivate Individual
Feb 19977 Duke's Meadow, PendinePrivate Sale
Feb 1997Land at Vauxhall Camp, MonmouthPrivate Individual
Feb 1997Berrybush Aerial Site, BrawdyPrivate Individual
Feb 19974 Scarborough Road, NewportPrivate Individual
Mar 1997 Part of St. David's AirfieldPrivate Individual
Mar 1997Beachley House, ChepstowPrivate Individual
Apr 1997Part of St. David's AirfieldPrivate Individual
Apr 1997Part of St. David's AirfieldPrivate Individual

Note:

This does not include the sale of 263 Married Quarters to Annington Homes Limited in November 1996 which were part of a national transaction.


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Porton Down

Mr. Livingstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times since 1990 the Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down has supplied information about former volunteers to the War Pensions Agency when those volunteers have submitted a claim to the Agency. [33803]

Dr. Reid: Since 1990 the Chemical and Biological Defence sector (CBD) of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) has responded to approximately eighty requests from the War Pensions Agency for information relating to former volunteers. CBD also responds to requests received from individual volunteers, their representatives and the Army Historical Branch.

CBD responds to each request for information with all available details from the surviving records and as full an explanation as possible concerning the trials in which the volunteer participated.


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