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Airborne Early Warning Systems (Helicopters)

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has undertaken a study of the merits of (a) helicopter-mounted and (b) fixed-wing mounted airborne early warning systems for short-deck and full-deck aircraft carriers; and if he will make a statement. [143352]

Dr. Moonie: We are conducting studies into a range of airborne early warning systems that could operate from the two future aircraft carriers envisaged under the Strategic Defence Review. These include both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.

Enhanced Paveway II System

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost is of the Enhanced Paveway II system contract developed and produced by Raytheon; what the time scale is for operational interim capability in the contract; and if he will make a statement. [143165]

Dr. Moonie: Final contract negotiations with the company covering precise details of cost and the time scales for our operational interim capability are still under way.

Defence Housing Executive

Mr. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what key targets have been set for the Defence Housing Executive for the financial year 2000-01. [143898]

Dr. Moonie: The following key targets have been set for the Defence Housing Executive for 2000-01.





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Copies of the DHE's Corporate Plan 2000 will be placed in the Library of the House.

Departmental Performance

Mr. McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he plans to publish information about his Department's performance during the financial year 1999-2000. [143897]

Mr. Hoon: Information about my Department's performance during the last financial year is contained within the Ministry of Defence Performance Report 1999-2000, which will be laid before the House today.

Royal Army Medical Corps

Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will announce the preferred purchaser for the former Royal Army Medical Corps site on Millbank. [144054]

Dr. Moonie: After detailed consideration of all the bids received, and consultation within Government, we have selected The London Institute as the preferred purchaser for the site.

We believe that this decision provides an opportunity to establish a major arts educational institution alongside an art gallery of international standing. This will allow a synergy to develop which will benefit the creative industries as well as having other educational advantages.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Broadband Fixed Wireless

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what percentage of rural areas will be left without broadband fixed wireless access following the recent 28 GHz auction; and what measures are being considered to assist those rural communities excluded from such access; [141658]

Ms Hewitt: Most of the licences awarded were for regions where there is a mix of rural and urban areas. Those regions where licences were sold cover 57 per cent. of the UK population and include extensive rural areas in the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. I will be exploring ways of licensing broadband fixed wireless access in those regions where licences remained unsold. Wireless is only one way of delivering higher bandwidth services. Other ways include DSL over

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copper telephone lines, cable modems, third generation mobile and satellite. As stated in the White Paper "Our Countryside: The Future", the Government will


Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what impact the recent auction for broadband fixed wireless access will have on the Government's aim of making broadband access universally available. [141657]

Ms Hewitt: Broadband Fixed Wireless Access licences have now been issued for an area covering nearly 60 per cent. of the population, including Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England.

Wireless is only one way of delivering bandwidth services. Other ways include DSL over copper telephone lines, cable modems, third generation mobile and satellite. As stated in the White Paper "Our Countryside: The Future", the Government will


E-commerce

Mr. Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures he is taking to promote electronic commerce. [143126]

Ms Hewitt: Electronic Commerce lies at the heart of this Government's vision for building a competitive, modern, knowledge-driven economy and the DTI plays a leading role in realising this.

As mentioned in my previous answer on 11 May 2000, Official Report, column 445W, in September 1999 the Prime Minister launched the report [email protected]', which sets out the Government's strategy to make the UK the best place in the world to trade electronically. This strategy is based on three clear principles:




Specific actions taken by DTI as part of the strategy to promote e-commerce include:






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Coal

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the total tonnage of coal mined in England and Wales in the last 12 months. [143613]

Mrs. Liddell: In the 12 months to September 2000, it is estimated that 23.3 million tonnes of coal were mined in England and Wales. In the United Kingdom as whole, 32.6 million tonnes of coal were produced in this period.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the total tonnage of coal imported into the UK in the last 12 months. [143612]

Mrs. Liddell: In the 12 months to September 2000, it is estimated that 22.8 million tonnes of coal were imported into the United Kingdom.

Universal Bank

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what examination he has made of the establishment and running costs of the proposed universal bank; and if he will integrate the Horizon platform into the existing Link electronic banking network and make an estimate of the costs associated. [143582]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The Post Office is currently considering different IT platforms through which it can connect to banks and has fully investigated the Link proposition. The final decision will depend on the cost and functionality offered by the different options. Any platform chosen will need to work through the Horizon system.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the Link interchange network about the proposals for a universal bank. [143583]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The Post Office has discussed its proposals for universal banking services with a range of banks and other financial service institutions, including with the Link interchange network.


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